One of SoundCloud's first employees is leaving the music streaming startup

David NoelTwitter/David NoëlDavid Noël is one of SoundCloud’s first employees.

Veteran SoundCloud employee David Noël is leaving the Berlin-based music streaming business.

Noël started as community manager and evangelist at SoundCloud in July 2009, before becoming VP of community and evangelist in August 2012. He became head of SoundCloud’s internal communications and evangelist in January 2014.

His departure comes after reports suggested that SoundCloud, which has been valued at $US700 million (£557 million) by investors, could be about to sell at a knockdown price, possibly leaving early shareholders with little to cash in.

SoundCloud — which has raised $US298 million (£238 million), including around $US70 million (£59 million) from Twitter, according to startup funding tracker Crunchbase — was in talks to sell for $US1 billion (£80 million), according to a Bloomberg report last July. But that figure could now be as low as $US250 million (£199 million), according to a Recode report this month.

A report in The Financial Times last week suggested that the founders of SoundCloud wouldn’t “receive a penny” unless the company is sold for upwards of at least $US200 million (£159 million). That’s due to the preferred stock options taken out by venture capitalists each time they invested in the company. If the founders shares are worthless, then it’s likely that shares owned by other SoundCloud employees will also be worthless.

In February it was reported that SoundCloud’s COO and finance director had both left the company.

A source with knowledge of Noël’s departure told Business Insider that he performed many different roles during his tenure at SoundCloud, including building up various teams and shaping the company culture. SoundCloud confirmed to Business Insider that Noël will be leaving the company by the end of Q1 to pursue his own startup.

SoundCloud started out as a free streaming service, which helped make it popular among new artists. It introduced advertisements in mid 2015 ahead of the launch of its subscription streaming service, which launched in March 2016 to compete with Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

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