Slacker Draws $40 Million, Second Investment Round

Ubiquitous music recommendation service Slacker has now grabbed a $40 million second round, according to information from numerous sources.

The infusion was first reported by PEHub, a private equity forum, which also pointed to participation by Centennial Ventures, Rho Ventures, Austin Ventures, Mission Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds.  The Series B investment follows an earlier, $14.5 million Series A, and signals an ambitious outlook by investors.  Slacker first started rattling earlier this year, and recently launched the desktop version of its larger vision.  The system learns listener favorites through interactive radio stations, a model that resembles Pandora.  It also bears resemblance to London-based Last.fm, recently acquired by CBS for a lofty $280 million, though Slacker is complementing its experience with next-generation connected players.

Like the desktop radio application, the players will also stream radio stations and solicit user input, a concept that updates the on-the-go experience.  The players will tap both WiFi and satellite connections to create the interactive experience, a structure that pushes past more static iPod collections.  The first player is expected later this year, and prototypes reveal an oversized display that presents artist images and other metadata.  Additionally, the automobile will also play an integral role in the experience, part of an increasingly crowded number of dashboard options.

That ambitious infrastructure requires more resources, though the presence of a star-studded executive lineup may also be generating excitement.  The executive cast includes Dennis Mudd, founder of MusicMatch; Jonathan Sasse, former president of iriver America; and Jim Cady, former chief executive at Rio.

PEHub “Slacker Snares $40 Million”