Sonos gets $45 million in new cash, adds biggies to its board

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.