Podcast firm Acast in $33m fundraising
SWEDISH podcast platform Acast has raised $33m (£26m) in its latest funding round as it seeks to fuel its global expansion ahead of a possible float.
Acast, which helps podcast makers earn money from their shows, secured the funds from investors including Swedbank Robur and Fokus Fund, taking the total raised since it was founded in 2014 to $67m.
The company currently hosts around 3,300 shows globally, including British-made Adam Buxton Podcast and My Dad Wrote a Porno.
It also offers “dynamic ad insertion”, which plays adverts in shows based on the location data of the listener.
Acast chief executive Ross Adams said the company was seeing a change in the market with podcasts enjoying a global revival.
“Whereas in the beginning, American shows were the ones that were absolutely huge, having mass global appeal, the likes of My Dad Wrote a Porno are now a huge global success, not just a UK success,” he said.
“We’re seeing more and more shows approaching us week in, week out, but if you compare us to the music industry, there are about 30 million different artists and tracks out there, and in podcasting there are about 600,000, so we have a way to go.”
Acast said it would use the funds to continue its global expansion, pushing further into the US, where it generates around 25pc of all listens, as well as into Ireland and New Zealand.
It said it was currently considering an initial public offering as one of its options. “Preparations for an IPO are something we are focusing on internally,” Mr Adams said. “We haven’t discussed a date as to when we would like to do that.”
Should Acast choose to float, it would follow in the footsteps of fellow Swedish company Spotify, which earlier this year joined the public markets.
Spotify landed a valuation of $30bn when it joined the Nasdaq this year.