It’s safe to say that if you’re involved in music, the last thing you think about is making war. That’s why it comes as a great surprise to discover that the world’s largest arms dealer, Lockheed-Martin, owns 184,000 shares of Pandora worth almost $2 million. To be sure, this is a drop in the bucket for both companies, but it’s still a curiosity.
According to Music Business Worldwide, Lockheed Investment Management Co, the investment arm of the company, routinely invests in tech companies that it feels might make a future breakthrough. At some point, Pandora looked like it fit into that category, although these days the company is more follower than leader. You also have to wonder what the synergy is between the two companies, since a music streaming company is about as far away from selling state-of-the-art arms systems to large countries like the United States, Germany and Japan, just to name a few, than you can get.
It’s also interesting that Lockheed sold 4,000 shares of Pandora at the end of September, which the company reported in an SEC disclosure at the beginning of November, which is how MBW discovered the investment.
According to Crunchbase, Pandora raised $64 million of funding before it went public in 2011, so Lockheed’s $2 million is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. And of course, when you look at it from Pandora’s standpoint, when you need money to stay in business or grow, you don’t necessarily care where it comes from. It’s also unknown if the company’s investment came before or after Pandora went public.
The investment seems at odds with both Lockheed’s propose in life, and music in general, though. Music, and the people associated with it, has always been more about peace, love and understanding than blowing everything to bits with weapons and making money from it.