Berlin might be a hub for creative types and software engineers but the city lacks the senior executives needed to take some startups to the next level, according to Caoimhe Keogan, SVP people, places, and community at music streaming company SoundCloud.
Speaking on a panel at an event organised by VC firm Balderton Capital in Berlin on Wednesday, Keogan explained how SoundCloud struggled to find music and media executives when it was scaling up.
“I think the challenge we’ve had with Berlin is most likely as you get into more executive level roles,” said Keogan “Of course, as you scale the company, you’re looking for more seniority and more experience.”
Keogan said the city’s relatively young tech ecosystem meant that executive-level people can be hard to come by for some companies.
SoundCloud has attempted to overcome the issue by hiring a number of executives at its office in New York, which is now home to around 25% of SoundCloud’s 400 employees.
“About 4 years ago, we hired our first person in New York,” said Keogan. “We have about 100 people in New York now so that’s a big second base.”
LinkedIn shows that SoundCloud has hired a number of execs in New York, including Faye Iosotaluno as VP of strategy and business development and ex-Googler Holly Lim as chief financial officer.
While Berlin may lack experienced executives in some areas, the city is home to a large number of engineers, according to Keogan.
“We find Berlin to be a great place to hire engineering and technical talent,” she said.
SoundCloud which has raised over $US190 million (£154 million) in funding, also has staff in San Francisco and London. It was considering a $US1 billion (£820 million) sale, according to a Bloomberg report last July.