Pod­cast firm Acast in $33m fundrais­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligence - By Han­nah Boland

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.

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