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Spotify-Backed Music Startup Raised $22 Million For Expansion

Stockholm-based startup Soundtrack Your Brand has raised $22 million in funding for global expansion and tech build-up. The company, started by an ex-Spotify executive and a co-founder of Beats, has already seen significant growth on its aim to provide music streaming services to businesses.

The company’s client list includes McDonald’s, TAG Heuer, and Toni & Guy along with operations for chains like Starbucks as well as thousands of other smaller businesses. It also operates Spotify Business in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. While not providing specific revenue or customer numbers, the company reports that revenue and customer base have both grown by more than 400% overall.

Soundtrack Your Brand uses its technology to select and play licensed music in stores and other retail locations. It was first founded in 2014 by Andreas Liffgarden, former head of business development at Spotify, and Ole Sars, co-founder of Beats. Liffgarden and Sars both tried to hire the other at different times in their previous tenure and discovered a shared view on what they saw as the untapped opportunity in the music-streaming world.

The goal Liffgarden and Sars put together filled a specific gap in the market for businesses who faced a limited, boring, or potentially illegal music choices. The most common practice was for businesses to use their own sets of CDs or mix tapes, or, alternatively to subscribe to services that send these items to them, However, those services are costly and tedious to refresh, and satellite radios don’t offer much control over music choice. Using streaming services like Spotify would be against the law since those types of services are only licensed for non-commercial, individual use.

While there are other competitors, like Mood Media, Play Network, and ImageSound, Soundtrack Your Brand differentiates itself in music selection and a simple sign up process. The service can be set up without any additional hardware besides a store’s speaker system and WiFi.

The latest round of funding brought in Balderton Capital, Industrifonden, Telia, and the H&M’s family investment fund HMP, bringing the total raised by the startup to about $40 million. Previous investors include Spotify, PlayNetwork, and Wellington.

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