Leadership changes at SoundCloud … Galileo to target student entrepreneurs with $20 million plan … SEEK hunts for new startup investments


Galileo co-founders James Alexander and Hugh Stephens. Source: Supplied

SoundCloud chief executive Alex Ljung will step down from his role as the startup closes a critical Series F funding round necessary to keep the music streaming startup afloat, TechCrunch reports.

The news came as the music site made cuts to 40% of its staff last month, which saw 173 employees leave the company, at the same time the startup announced the closure of its San Francisco hub.

Ljung will remain chairman, and former Vimeo head  Kerry Trainor replaces him in the chief executive role, while SoundCloud co-founder and chief technical officer Eric Wahlforss will stay on as chief product officer.

Leading the $US169.5 million ($214.8 million) Series F round was New York investment bank Raine Group, and Singapore-based wealth fund Temasek, according to TechCrunch. These funds add to the $70 million line of credit ($88.7 million) SoundCloud secured from investors in January to keep operations running.

Galileo seeks to raise $20 million fund for budding entrepreneurs

Student entrepreneurs graduating from university may have extra support establishing new businesses, with seed fund and accelerator Galileo Ventures announcing plans to raise a $20 million early stage venture capital fund (ESVCLP).

Galileo Ventures is co-founded by Hugh Stephens, co-founder of Instagram scheduling startup Schedugram, and James Alexander, co-founder of the University of Sydney’s ‘Incubate’ accelerator program.

“We believe an entrepreneurship revolution is underway,” Alexander said in a statement.

“A student armed with a Macbook, an internet connection and a great idea can build a product that reaches people right around the globe – with just $5,000 or less. We’re seeing more sophisticated businesses created by these emerging founders who want to create world-changing technology companies.”

If successful in its raise, Galileo expects to invest in 60 Australian and New Zealand startups over the next three years, and plans to provide these startups with access to a six-month accelerator program that focuses on management and governance training, the fund said in a statement.

SEEK set to hone in on startups

SEEK chief executive Andrew Bassat has signaled that the job search platform could buy and invest in more startups, as the company cracks $1 billion in revenue for the first time in the 2016-17 financial year, Fairfax reports.

The company reported revenue growth of 9.1% for 2017, with the platform’s revenue grow from $965.4 million to $1.04 billion.

SEEK has already invested in early-stage companies such as Melbourne employment platform Sidekicker, job search aggregation startup Jora, and client relation and application-tracking platform JobAdder.

Bassat told AFR the company planned to continue to back these ventures, while also searching for new early-stage startup opportunities in the coming year.

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