SoundCloud has secured its first licensing agreement with a major record label, after months of tough negotiations.

The deal with Warner Music will allow SoundCloud, which was valued at around $700m earlier this year, to unlock new sources of revenue through advertising and subscriptions. Read more

Online shopping and renting out spare capacity in flats and cars appeared to be the investment themes in Europe in January, with consumer-facing internet companies once again getting the majority of the money and attention.

Berlin was the fundraising hot-spot with at least four start-ups raising money, from $50m for SoundCloud to a more modest $1.4m for Gidsy.

This is the first of a series of monthly updates on the early-stage technology companies raising money in Europe.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Soundcloud, the Berlin-based “YouTube for audio”, has raised $50m at a $200m valuation, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Europe reports. Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round, giving an early boost to the European tech scene’s prospects for 2012, with Berlin in particular tipped for great things this year. Read more

European tech startups establishing offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley seem almost an everyday occurrence as they strain for a whiff of that oxygen of publicity and VC money uniquely available here. However, SoundCloud’s announcement on Tuesday of its new West Coast operation is unusual in the extent it takes to heart the entrepreneurial cafe culture of San Francisco. Read more