Blog Post

SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung on why Berlin is hot

Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, both Swedes, moved to Berlin in 2007 and started SoundCloud. Their original idea was born from the need of musicians to exchange large files over the web in order to collaborate. Since then the company has expanded its ambitions and now wants to be an audio platform for the web.

The company is growing at a rapid clip and has added more than a million users since the introduction of its new mobile apps. SoundCloud is part of the GigaOM 20: the European startups to watch. And when I visited Berlin earlier this month to better understand the German capital city’s blossoming startup scene, I decided to call on Ljung and talk to him about the city.

We took a walk down Berlin’s Mitte district (home to many startups). Here are two short videos clips: The first is of Ljung explaining to me what’s happening in Berlin, and the second one is about SoundCloud itself. (And once you are done, check out some of the photos I took in Berlin on my personal blog.)

Alex Ljung on Berlin’s startup scene:

Alex Ljung on SoundCloud’s plans:

4 Responses to “SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung on why Berlin is hot”

  1. Maybe a slightly dumb question but Silicon Valley has always been able to attract the best people from around the world to work there. I wonder if European start-ups look to employ people from around the world as well and if so what language do they use? I know the Germans speak really good English but could one get a job there without knowing and German? Does it matter if a startup only looks to employ people from within the country in which they are based to start with?

    • @APS – now you’re getting into a whole ‘nother discussion about work visas and company sponsorships etc. It’s very difficult for a non-EU professional to find work in the EU. It can be done, but it’s hard. (I’ve tried, unsuccessfully) Even if English is the ‘language of business’, it’s not the language of everyday discussions and life will be difficult without the ability to get by in the native tongue.