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Summary:

Sonos, a ten-year-old company that makes networked connected music hardware has raised a $45 million in new investment from the likes of Elevation Partners, KKR and has added some heavy weights such as John Maeda , president of the Rhode Island School of Design to its board.

The Sonos system eliminates wires, and integrates a variety of music sources.

Sonos, a Santa Barbara, Calif-based company that makes networked connected music hardware, has raised a $45 million in new investment and has expanded its board to add some heavyweights. The new investors in the company include Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR), Elevation Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Index Ventures, which is an existing investor, did not participate in this round.

The company also executed $90 million in secondary financing. The secondary financing allows existing investor BV Capital and other shareholders such as employees, founders and angel investors to cash in their chips. BV Capital has come to the end of its association with Sonos and as a result, Andreas Von Blottnitz from BVCapital is going to leave the board.

Sonos is adding a few new people to its board. KKR will be represented by David Kerko along with Elevation’s Fred Anderson (and former Apple CFO) and John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design. I think addition of Maeda is a pretty big deal for the nearly ten-year-old company that started out making an expensive wireless music player but has since expanded into a series of more affordable speakers that can stream music directly from services such as Spotify and also from music libraries stored on our hard drives.

When they started talking up their product in 2004, I was highly skeptical (and downright dismissive) of their chances, for I have seen a lot of consumer electronics startups in Silicon Valley fail. Boy, have they proved me wrong or what. They have steadily improved their products, made them simpler and have turned into a player in the hi-end audio business. They are in more than a million rooms now!

My colleague Stacey Higginbotham wrote this piece – How to build a consumer platform: lessons from Sonos – that captures Sonos’ history and strategy very well.

This story was updated at 12:39p.m. to clarify that Redpoint Ventures is a new investor in Sonos.

  1. Jeffrey McManus Monday, June 18, 2012

    We just bought our second Sonos player and we are very happy with them!

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  2. They haven’t exactly proven you wrong if they still have to raise more venture capital 10 years in.

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  3. Gregory Jones Monday, June 18, 2012

    I bought my Play 5 and it has been nothing but a disappointment. I have spoken to their technical department on many occasions and they are useless. A bunch of hype for a mediocre product. Hurrah Capitalism.

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    1. Gregory

      I have had the same product and have had not problems. Have they offered to replace the device? If not, then that is indeed bad form on their part.

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  4. I agree! Horrible service!!

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    1. Horrible product or horrible service?

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      1. Service.

        However, the product isn’t worth the price. Their support service is simply atrocious. I’ve called on several occasions and was rudely dealt with, as if taking calls is beneath them. One person had the audacity to tell me that I was keeping him from the festivities going on outside. If someone works in customer service they should realise that their job is to help people, not make them feel bad about calling in.

        I stand by my comment, they have awful service.

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    2. Sonos Support Team Wednesday, June 20, 2012

      Hello DF,

      I would like to first apologize for any negative experiences you have had in the past with the Sonos Support team. We strive for service that exceeds your expectations. If you are on Twitter, please DM your contact information to @SonosSupport and we will work to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. If you are not on Twitter, please reply back and I am sure we will find a different way to get in touch.

      Regards,

      Sid
      Sonos Support

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  5. Buyer’s remorse within a week of buying it.

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    1. Andrew

      Can you describe why did you have buyer’s remorse. I just want to understand. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  6. I have Sonos in three room. I love it. It is great to have the same music in the whole house or different in each room. It is easy and simple to operate from my iPad.

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  7. So much potential… but the key to unlocking a wonderful Sonos experience is the apps. And for the premium price, they are currently just too slow in bringing out updates. I had a buyer’s remorse moment the other day when I realised that a £25 bluetooth bridge to my hifi system could actually deliver 80% of the value.. and let me control my music from the much superior Spotify app…

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  8. Sonos could be huge if the devices weren’t so dam expensive. I’m sure if they reduced the costs by 20% the sales would go through the roof as I love my Sonos Play3 and would have one in every room if I could afford it

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