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Spotify's cash signals it's ready to dance

Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify.
Getty Images
Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify.

Spotify is sending out signals that it's ready to dance. Daniel Ek's digital music service may be about to raise $1 billion, with TPG possibly kicking in up to half of it, according to Sky News. On top of last year's funding round that valued the company at $8.5 billion, it would leave Spotify limber enough to hunt for partners.

Ek is using convertible debt for his latest turn at the trough, not equity. That makes sense after several months of plummeting valuations among so-called unicorns — tech start-ups worth $1 billion or more. In recent months, for example, money managers Fidelity and BlackRock marked down the value of their stakes in Snapchat, Zenefits and Dropbox. Square, meanwhile, went public in November with a valuation lower than its last private funding round.