Last month, Spotify announced it had taken the first step towards going public by hiring banks to help it list in New York. The Swedish streaming service had contracted Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and Allen & Co. to advise on the process. Concern were recently raised amongst Spotify’s investors after Co-found and board member Martin Lorentzon spoke with a Swedish radio stating that reports of an impending New York Stock Exchange listing were false. Lorentzon said the company didn’t “need any money” and that it is “not looking for more and any IPO isn’t on the agenda”. He said Spotify is still focusing on growth over profitability.
Spotify has released a statement via email to reassure investors that plans to go public are still on track. “Martin is our co-founder and a board member, but not a spokesman for the company.” A public listing “remains an option for us,” the company said, with the caveat of adding that it hasn’t confirmed any “definitive” plans.
Bloomberg is reporting that “a person familiar with the plans” has told them Spotify is mulling whether to do a direct listing rather than a more traditional public offering. Although, a final decision hasn’t been made. Under this process, the company wouldn’t sell new shares to raise money. Instead, it will just make existing shares available to trade, allowing current investors to cash out.
Spotify is currently the world’s largest music streaming service and has up to 50 million paying subscribers. Helmed by Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Daniel Ek, the company has maintained its leadership even as larger technology companies including Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Google have entered the market. The unprofitable company has raised more than $1.5 billion since it was founded more than a decade ago.