Podcasting startup WaitWhat raises $4.3M as curiosity in audio content material explodes – TechCrunch

WaitWhat, the digital content material manufacturing engine behind LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast, has secured a $4.three million Sequence A funding led by Cue Ball Capital and Burda Principal Investments.

Launched in January 2017, WaitWhat will use the money to create extra media properties throughout a wide range of mediums, together with podcasts.

Traders are gravitating towards podcast startups as shopper curiosity in unique audio content material skyrockets. Podcasting, although an childish business that hit simply $314 million in income in 2017, is maturing, raking in enterprise capital rounds large and small and recording its first notable M&A transaction with Spotify’s acquisition of Gimlet and Anchor earlier this month. The music streaming large shelled out a complete of $340 million for the podcast manufacturing platform and the supplier of a collection of podcast creation, distribution and monetization instruments, respectively. It plans to spend an extra $500 million on audio storytelling platforms as half of a bigger plan to develop into the Netflix of audio.

WaitWhat, for its half, dubs itself the “media invention firm.” Based by June Cohen and Deron Triff, a pair of former TED executives chargeable for increasing the nonprofit’s digital media enterprise, WaitWhat is at present launching Should This Exist, a brand new podcast hosted by Flickr founder and tech investor Caterina Faux.  Faux will interview entrepreneurs in regards to the human aspect and the impression of know-how within the present created in partnership with Quartz.

“Individuals don’t simply transact with content material; they need to really feel linked to it by means of a way of surprise, awe, curiosity, and mastery,” Cohen stated in an announcement. “These are contagious feelings, and analysis reveals they stimulate sharing. The place many media corporations goal for quantity — placing out plenty of content material with a brief shelf life — we’re constructing a very distinctive portfolio of premium properties which can be frequently rising in worth, inspiring deep viewers engagement, and creating alternatives for format enlargement.”

Different buyers within the spherical embody Reid Hoffman, MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and Liminal Ventures. WaitWhat beforehand raised a $1.5 million spherical from Victress Capital, Human Ventures and In a position Companions, all of which have joined the A spherical.

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