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Roon Labs Acquired by Samsung-owned Harman International

Just after Thanksgiving 2023, Horizon’s client, Roon Labs, was acquired by HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The strategic match is ideal for both companies given HARMAN’s focus on connected technologies for automotive, consumer, and enterprise markets and Roon’s expertise in music management, discovery, and streaming for the industry’s highest end music enthusiasts.

In advance and in connection with the transaction, Horizon worked with Roon operationally and strategically throughout 2023 while designing a highly customized transaction process focused on strategic partners as opposed to more private equity sponsor-driven transactions that many of Horizon’s peers focus on as the foundation of their practices. The process ultimately delivered an ideal partner and result despite broader industry headwinds.

Roon is a leading provider of premium audio and music management software solutions and features a rich interface for browsing and discovering music, compatibility with almost any audio device, and a playback engine designed to deliver the best possible sound. Roon is available for all popular operating systems and manufactures a line of hardware server appliances called Nucleus. Through a decades-long commitment to innovation, Roon Labs has become the ‘go-to’ for comprehensive music library management, advanced audio features, and detailed metadata that cater to casual listeners and music enthusiasts alike.

The Company leverages extensive metadata integrations, a scalable analytics infrastructure, and a highly-engaged community to enhance its data assets and develop highly personalized music experiences. With its proprietary ‘last-mile’, hard-to-replicate user data, the Company is well positioned to continue releasing innovative products and features – including those enabling AI/ML. Positioned at the center of media providers and device manufacturers, The Company has become the ‘arbiter’ of individualized music experiences and personalized content.

As Harman mentioned in its public press release announcing the transaction:

Roon will operate as a standalone Harman business with its existing team. All Roon operations will stay in place and continue to be dedicated to serving and growing Roon’s community of device partners and customers, under a joint mission to deliver engaging and personalized audio experiences across a universe of products and platforms.

Aligned with its ‘work with all’ strategy, HARMAN is committed to growing Roon’s open device ecosystem which includes collaborating with more than 160 other audio brands, and delivering audio to more than 1000 high-performance devices. Roon’s dedication to its loyal community and its exceptional UI/UX design expertise will continue to expand and flourish with the acquisition.

“Our team is ecstatic to join HARMAN, a visionary company that has been leading the audio industry forward for decades,” said Enno Vandermeer, CEO of Roon. “By combining forces with HARMAN, Roon gains the incredible scale, resources, and reach of a global technology leader, while maintaining our independence to invest in the business’s growth and future. We look forward to continuing to bring our advanced data management, SaaS expertise, and consumer engagement capabilities to our broad ecosystem of partners, as we join forces with HARMAN to deliver even greater audio experiences to our customers.”

Please let us know if you’d like to learn more about this transaction and how Horizon designs customized and artisanal processes for each of its clients.

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