Acast is saying right this moment that it has raised $35 million in Collection C funding, bringing its whole funding to greater than $67 million. Traders within the spherical embrace AP1 (which manages among the capital in Sweden’s nationwide revenue pension system), in addition to Swedbank Robur funds Ny Teknik and Microcap.
Ross Adams, who became Acast’s CEO last fall, informed me that the cash will enable Acast to broaden, each when it comes to its product choices and the geographies the place it operates.
The corporate has targeted on bringing know-how to the surprisingly old style world of podcast promoting. In truth, it pioneered the observe of dynamically inserting adverts into podcasts — versus the mannequin the place (as Adams put it), “Whenever you hearken to a five-year-old podcast, you’ll hear the host learn a five-year-old advert.”
Earlier this 12 months, it announced a partnership with the BBC, permitting the BBC’s podcasts to stay ad-free in the UK whereas inserting adverts in all places else.
“We don’t thoughts in case your present is totally big or completely tiny,” Adams mentioned. “The mannequin we now have permits a critical mainstream writer just like the BBC to monetize — or a bed room podcast hobbyist.”
On the identical time, Adams needs Acast to assist different enterprise fashions. It’s already experimenting with paid, premium content material via its Acast+ app, nevertheless it appears like there are extra paid podcast merchandise within the works: “We wish to be that central level of monetization, [whether] they earn cash via promoting or they’re premium choices.”
As for geographic growth, Acast says it launched in Eire, New Zealand and Denmark this 12 months. It additionally plans to develop in america, which presently represents 25 p.c of all listens on the platform.
Acast can be seeking to carry podcast monetization into new — Adams mentioned the corporate has spent a lot of the previous 12 months targeted on the sensible speaker market. These audio system current new alternatives for content material (Adams mentioned it’s much less about “longer-form storytelling” and extra “short-form exhibits in your every day consumption within the morning”), and new challenges for promoting.
Adams is hoping that if Acast can clear up these challenges, it received’t simply be monetizing the sensible dwelling market, but additionally shifting into vehicles and anyplace else you would possibly discover “voice-enabled know-how.”