36. Deezer

Founders: Daniel Marhely, Jonathan Benassaya
Launched: 2007
Funding: $287.3 million
Valuation: N/A
Disrupting: Internet radio, music streaming
Rival: Spotify

The music streaming business is anything but mellow. Just ask Deezer, the Paris-based online music streaming company. In October it canceled a $343 million initial public offering citing "market conditions." Aside from tumult in the stock market, Deezer is facing stiff competition from the likes of competitors Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and music-streaming newcomer Apple Music.


Still, the company — launched in 2006 — is hardly a newbie. It claims 6.3 million customers across 180 countries, with 1.5 million of them classified as paying customers. The remaining 4.8 million customers are what the company calls bundled subscribers, who pay a blended fee to Deezer's partners (such as telecommunications carriers), meaning that Deezer gets a much smaller cut of the fees.

The canceled IPO doesn't mean the company is standing still. In January it raised $109 million, led by Warner Music Group's owner, Access Industries. The company's total funding now stands at a little more than $287 million. Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said the company is using the money to increase the number of podcasts and audiobooks that it offers, as well as to redesign its iOS and Android apps.

The CEO won't rule out another run at an IPO, telling CNBC, "It's one of the options we have in the future."

Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Deezer
Source: Deezer
Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Deezer

Latest Special Reports

  • Nashville skyline at dusk.

    The pandemic and the success of startup culture have sparked the emergence of new hubs for businesses outside of traditional power centers of New York, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco. These Cities of Success each have used unique characteristics – pop culture influence, clusters of great universities, friendly geography or forward-thinking local governments – to attract major companies and nurture an entrepreneurial community around them.

  • The Workforce Wire provides news and information on what employers and executives are doing to adapt to the ever-changing workplace.

  • More than ever, the hope for a sustainable world has gained traction among the next generation of businesses, policymakers and investors. CNBC’s Sustainable Future focuses on how smart investments, new ideas and tech innovation can generate commerce — and a world — with staying power.