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8tracks, a San Francisco startup that runs a online radio service that allows people to create and listen to playlists, announced today that it has taken on $2.5 million in debt money from Silicon Valley Bank. It’s not about keeping the lights on; 8tracks is profitable. The money will help 8tracks do more to personalize its service for users.
In addition to talking about the new money, 8tracks is announcing that its library now contains 9 million tracks, thanks to new partnerships with Armin Van Buuren’s Armada Records, Black Hole Recordings, Naxos, and TuneCore. Just a couple of months ago, when 8tracks announced partnerships with CD Baby, Dim Mak, and DashGo, and INgrooves, it had more than 6.5 million tracks.
Earlier in its life, 8tracks was pursued by Google, which ended up instead acquiring curated music service Songza. Meanwhile, Apple this week emphasized the importance of DJs curating music in the new Apple Music service. Drake and Pharrell, among others, will select songs for people to check out in Apple Music.
Now, with its new money, 8tracks will take steps to more speedily surface relevant music to its users and thereby increase engagement. The company will also start allowing people to create playlists on its mobile app for iOS and Android, a spokesman told VentureBeat in an email. Having so many songs available to draw on will make it easier for people to find what they like, create playlists, and then share them with others on 8tracks.
8tracks started in 2008; it claims to have more than 8 million monthly listeners.
To date it has raised $3 million, not including the new debt round. Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, SoftTech, Craig Kallman, and Steve Aoki have previously invested. The startup employs 32 people, with seven of them selling ads.
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