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Jeffrey Katzenberg-Led WndrCo Invests $11.5 Million in U.K. Audio Streamer Mixcloud

Mixcloud announced that it closed $11.5 million from WndrCo, the next-generation media investment company whose founders include longtime Hollywood player Jeffrey Katzenberg.

It’s the first outside fundraise for the U.K.-based long-form audio streaming company, whose tagline is “making radio better.” Mixcloud said it will use the capital to expand the company globally — including in the U.S. — and diversify the platform, which may potentially include subscription-based offerings.

With the funding, two WndrCo partners will join Mixcloud’s board: Ann Daly, former president of DreamWorks Animation (which was headed by Katzenberg), and Anthony Saleh, manager of hip-hop stars Nas and Future.

Last fall, Mixcloud entered into a direct licensing agreement with Warner Music Group and Mixcloud is said to be in talks with Sony and Universal Music Group as well. For its audio programming, Mixcloud has used statutory radio licenses to cover its music use.

Founded in 2008 and based in London, Mixcloud says it has more than 1 million audio creators. Mixcloud was founded in London in 2008 by Nico Perez, Nikhil Shah, Mat Clayton, and Sam Cooke. The company offers a lineup of serialized, long-form and exclusive audio shows, produced by DJs including David Guetta and Tiësto; musicians like Talking Heads frontman David Byrne; indie radio stations like London’s NTS; and The Guardian Podcasts.

Mixcloud co-founder Shah said that WndrCo is “the ideal partner” for the company. “They are highly accomplished, and they are true operators with experience at some of the world’s leading media, entertainment and tech companies,” he said in announcing the funding.

WndrCo last year raised $591.5 million, and in January tapped Silicon Valley veteran Meg Whitman as CEO of the venture, which is aiming to build out a portfolio of premium, short-form entertainment content investments optimized for mobile consumption. WndrCo’s other investments to date have included equity stakes in TYT Networks, Axios, and Whistle Sports.

Mixcloud’s proprietary content-identification system can identify individual tracks within radio shows and mixes. That, according to the company, ensures “proper payment to the underlying rights holders.”

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