Jeronimo Folgueira, the man who could take Deezer public

According to the Wall Street Journal, the French music streaming platform could soon go public. His new boss, Jeronimo Folgueira, appears to be “the right man” to lead the operation.

This could be one of the great offers of the year in the entertainment sector. If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, seven years after a first failed attempt, French music streaming platform Deezer could go public. According to the business bible, which cites sources familiar with the matter, Deezer would merge with the I2PO SPACE behind which we find the Pinault Family, at the head of the luxury giant Kering, investment banker Matthieu Pigasse, very present in the media (Le Monde, les Inrocks, Huffington Post…), and former leader of Warner MediaIris Knobloch.

If finalized, the agreement could be announced in the coming days. The valuation of the transaction remains unknown. At this point, Deezer, whose main shareholder (68%) is the Access Industries fund, has everything of a unicorn since it is valued at more than one billion euros.

Unicorn

To pilot the operation, Deezer, which was founded in 2007 in a Parisian apartment, will be able to count on an expert in the field: its CEO Jerome Folgueira. Appointed at the head of the company a little less than a year ago, this Spaniard is in fact a member of the board of directors of Tio Tech, a Nasdaq-listed SPAC whose goal is to help European unicorns access US financial markets.. Exactly what Deezer wants to do. He also submitted to the Nasdaq dating site in 2017. spark netS, which earned him, at the time, to become the youngest European CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.



“From now on, we will refocus on a few key and profitable markets.”

Jerome Folgueira

CEO of Deezer

Degree in Economic Sciences from the University of Navarra and MBA from the Columbia Business School. the man also has an experience of more than fifteen years in the media and technologies. In addition to the IPO of Spark Networks, which quadrupled in size in four years, he has held various management positions, including at Betfair, Bigpoint and RTL Group.

“I decided that we were going to gradually stop our previous strategy, which was to spread our free offers in many, many countries. From now on, we will continue refocus on a few key and profitable markets“, declared Jerónimo Folgueira at the beginning of March to Figaro. “It is the best way to achieve our profitability target for 2024-2025.”

For this, the platform with 90,000 titles needs money. After having already raised 450, its CEO estimated, in the same interview, its needs at 100 million euros, without ruling out any assumption to get there, including the financial markets.

The Spotify Ogre

In fact, an initial public offering should allow Deezer partially compensate for its great lag behind the sector leader, the Swedish Spotify which, according to research bureau Midia, holds 31% of the global music streaming market ahead of Apple Music (15%) and Amazon Music (13%), Deezer (which is, however, number 1 on its national market), far behind with Only 2%.

two%

According to the Midia research bureau, Deezer weighs in at just 2% of the global music streaming market.

The moment seems right. The market is booming. According to IFPI, the federation of the music industry, the music market grew by 18.5% in 2021 for $25.9 billion, but streaming jumped 22%. It represents 65% of the market and has 523 million paying subscribers, including 180 from Spotify. Although it is present in 180 countries, Deezer only has 10 million, including five in France.

express resume

  • 39 years old, holder of an MBA from Columbia Business School.
  • 2003-2006: Telecommunications Media Financial Analyst at Lehman Brothers and later at Citigroup.
  • 2007-2011: He worked on mergers and acquisitions at Thomson and later at RTL Group.
  • 2011-2015: general manager of big dot (online games) and then Betfair (sports betting).
  • 2015-2020: CEO of Affinitas (dating site) to be merged in 2017 with Spark Networks, of which he becomes CEO.
  • 2021: CEO of Deezer.

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