SoundCloud, a startup focusing on audio-sharing in social media, has announced a new (and reportedly sizable) round of funding.

The round, which was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, may have been as large as $50 million.

Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker will join the board. GGV Capital also participated in the round, which the startup hopes to use to aid in more rapid expansion.

SoundCloud’s service was first focused toward professional musicians who needed better options for sharing music online. Currently is used to distribute podcasts, audiobooks and more and is free for most users and offers paid plans for more hardcore customers.

“Our company has seen exponential growth this year in terms of users and greatly evolved our product offerings,” said the founder and CEO Alexander Ljung in a blog post today.

SoundCloud was founded in late 2008 and has taken two previous rounds of funding totaling roughy $16 million. Previous funding came from Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures and Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.

Over the summer of 2011, SC reported it had reached the significant milestone of five million users, four million of whom joined the service within the past 12 months.

SoundCloud is headquartered in Berlin and opened a San Francisco office mid-2011.

source : VentureBeat, 3 January

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