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Last.fm Chairman Preferred Continued Investment To CBS Sell-Off

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An interesting interview in The Times with German angel investor Stefan Glaenzer, who co-founded auction sites QXL and Ricardo.de and was behind blog host 20Six before a 16 percent stake gave him the chairmanship of Last.fm. Glaenzer, who is retiring as Last.fm chairman but remaining an adviser, says he wanted Last.fm to raise another £10 ($20) million investment rather than sell out, but was outvoted.

The site attracted a first-round investment of less than $5 million from Index Ventures in May 2006 as well as private funding from Glaenzer, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and polymath Joi Ito. By this spring it had already grown to 20 million members and 65 million tracks, had landed some handy licensing deals with labels and announced an expansion into music video, all while operating independently.

Glaenzer: “[There was] an approach about once a month for the last 12 months [before the deal]. All of them were US companies; it reflects the fact that Europe is two and a half years behind the US. … CBS just wanted to carry on doing what they were doing, and they came up with a great price. I