Music streaming and discovery service SoundCloud has reported its 2014 earnings. Like most tech companies building for the future, the numbers don't look good as losses are mounting faster than revenue, but it is still able to raise money from investors.
Revenue for the Berlin-based company increased 53.9 percent to $19.7 million, but its losses nearly doubled to $41.8 million. This largely came from the cost of administrative overheard, which accounted for $54.1 million, up 67.8 percent. Including cost of sales, SoundCloud spent $63.8 million just to bring in $19.7 million - not a good amount on the year.
The fast growth in overhead and low revenue means it is burning through its cash reserves, worryingly falling to $16.7 million. It was able to raise another $77 million in 2015, but with this rate of burn, it will probably need to raise more cash in the next six to 12 months if revenue does not rise from ads and subscriptions.
In the release, the company says it expects losses to continue for another three years as it signs more licensing deals and invests further in the platform. This is a gamble for its investors who may look for a the company to turn a profit sooner as the tech market has already started to see some of its unicorns start to devalue and firms starts to write down some of their inflated investments.
There are encouraging signs for SoundCloud moving forward. These earnings are for 2014, so we don't know how the company did in 2015. They have signed licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, various publishing agencies and thousands of small independent labels. It boastd 175 million users globally at the end of 2014, with that number only growing.
SoundCloud has had a difficult time converting its users to paying subscribers, though it hopes to roll out a subscription service at some point this year to compete in the already quite crowded streaming market.