Digital Sky Technologies, better known as DST, is the VC firm behind Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. It’s also leading a funding round for Spotify, the European streaming music startup valued at around $1 billion. So far, €82.3 million has been raised in a round of $100 million.
With a boost from DST, Spotify is looking to go global, but strategically, commenting to PaidContent: “There are scenarios in which we’d enter many, many markets that would require raising external capital. Or you could adopt a market-by-market approach which doesn’t require further investment. We’re still working out which markets are our priorities.”[more]
DST gives Spotify a crucial Russian entrée. Founded by Yuri Milner in 2005, DST now boasts international cachet and growing market share. Milner began investing in web companies in 1999 and founded DST to target digital opportunities in the Russian-speaking market.
Milner’s Mail.ru Group transacted nearly 75 deals and became the leading Russian language site in usage and the seventh most popular website globally in page views or minutes spent online, according to Comscore. DST Global launched in 2009 with investments in Facebook, Zynga and Groupon.
Spotify has yet to launch in the US, but key label deals are close to completion even as Apple’s iOS subscription pricing model is being set.
Meanwhile, China and South Africa are in DST/Spotify’s sights through partnerships with Tencent and Myriad.