Kobalt expects to turn over approximately half a billion dollars in its current financial year – after raising another $14m in a fresh funding round. The company’s latest Series D raise comes from Section 32 – the US-based venture capital fund created by Bill Maris, who was formerly head of Google Ventures.
As part of the investment, Maris joins Kobalt’s Board of Directors. Maris was head of Google Ventures in 2015 when it led a headline-grabbing $60m Series C investment into Kobalt.
The $14m adds to the $75m raised in another Series D round earlier this year – led by Hearst Entertainment – taking Kobalt’s total funding in 2017 to $89m.
Other significant recent raises at Kobalt, involving the likes of Balderton Capital, MSD Capital and Spark Ventures, came in 2014 (Series B: $40m) and 2008 (Series B: $16m) – meaning the firm has now raised more than $200m in the past decade alone.
Kobalt Founder & CEO Willard Ahdritz, little under two years ago, predicted to MBW that Kobalt would be generating annual revenues of $500m by the end of FY2017/2018. He now says the company is on course to meet this objective:
I have always executed and delivered on what I’ve said, ever since Kobalt received its first investment,” Ahdritz told MBW today. “In all the funding rounds since then, [investors] have seen consistency, and they have seen that our vision and strategy have been correct. This [$14m] round was probably the easiest one to raise, because before [investors] needed to trust [my optimism about streaming] – when some other people were saying the opposite. Now it is very clear that research like the recent Goldman Sachs report shows that the growth is back in the music business. And Kobalt is in the middle of this growing industry.
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