After a Decade of Extreme Bootstrapping, Mixcloud Closes an $11.5 Million Round

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Investors are making it rain at Mixcloud.

Mixcloud is often plunked in the shadow of SoundCloud, though these musical ‘clouds’ are now quite different.  These days, SoundCloud is emerging as a hotbed of ‘Xanax’ rappers, while Mixcloud is emerging as a longer-form audio content platform.  Now, Mixcloud has $11.5 million to expand its vision globally.

Mixcloud describes itself as “the leading digital audio streaming platform rethinking radio for listeners, curators, and brands alike,” which sounds about right.  The site points to uploads from more than one million curators.  Mixcloud’s founders originally charted a path to be something like a ‘YouTube for long-form audio’.

The ten-year-old audio streaming platform is headquartered in London, where it’s been bootstrapping for most of its life.  That’s a far cry from the wildly-overfunded Berlin-based SoundCloud, which has managed to burn enough cash to keep all of Germany warm.  Of course, those types of fires can quickly get out of control: SoundCloud’s CEO, Alexander Ljung, recently got the boot after years of lavish non-budgeting — and 2018-9 is now all about survival in a brutal climate.

Not the case at Mixcloud, where lean-and-mean has been a necessity.  A quick profile in TechCrunch noted that the early days were aided by some UK governments grants, with employees sometimes working side jobs to keep the fire burning.  The rest was the opposite of fancy offices and overspending, with scrappiness a core value.

Now it’s time to shift gears.  The $11.5 million round is coming from WndrCo, a media and technology holding company with offices in LA and San Francisco.  As part of its investment package, WndrCo partners Ann Daly (the former president of DreamWorks Animation) and Anthony Saleh (an investor and artist manager of hip hop stars Nas and Future) will be joining the company’s board.

Surprisingly, even without funding, the company has been able to maintain a decent following over the past decade.  That’s noteworthy in an industry where survival itself is noteworthy.

+ Mixcloud’s Most Popular Genre in Every US State

Nikhil Shah, one of the four Mixcloud founders, said that WndrCo is the ideal partner for Mixcloud.  We are excited that they share our long-term vision of what we are building, and to have them as a strategic partner for our next phase,” Shah noted.

Anthony Saleh also said: “We at WndrCo couldn’t be more excited about coming together with the Mixcloud team and building on top of the great foundation they already have in place. We believe that the market opportunity, quality of the product, and the fantastic team make for a very special future for Mixcloud.”