Castos, a WordPress-powered podcast internet hosting supplier, announced a $756K pre-seed fundraising round at present from Automattic, Yoast SEO, and a number of people. The firm raised cash from all the buyers in this spherical through a SAFE be aware, which founder and CEO Craig Hewitt mentioned is a reasonably commonplace funding automobile for firms at Castos’ stage of development.
“On each the particular person and company investor aspect I feel the buyers see the imaginative and prescient that we’ve got for what the Private Podcasting market can imply for Castos and need to assist us obtain that potential,” Hewitt mentioned.
Private Podcasting is a rising development the place creators and organizations broadcast to supporters in a extra intimate format that isn’t open to the public. Hewitt likens them to membership websites, besides in audio format. It is commonly utilized by people who find themselves working membership websites, programs, or on-line communities as a manner to keep linked with members.
“The different software is firms wanting a manner to join with their workers in audio format,” Hewitt mentioned. “Podcasting is ideal for that as a result of it’s mobile-first, on-demand, and may be consumed asynchronously. We name it the Step Away Experience. Companies which might be adopting Private Podcasting internally are giving their crew members a manner to eat their inner content material with out being tied to their pc on a Zoom name or glued to Slack.”
Castos is creating a cellular app particularly focused at the personal podcasting market. Hewitt’s crew is aiming to have the app turn out to be a spot the place individuals can pay attention to all of the personal podcasts for which they’ve a subscription. Listeners would merely use the app as a substitute of going via the means of manually subscribing to all their personal podcasts through RSS feed. New episodes will seem mechanically in the app for subscribers.
“For our company shoppers, the means to white label our app with their very own branding/model is an enormous win,” Hewitt mentioned. “It’s additionally a way more safe manner to distribute personal podcast content material. There’s no RSS feed to share round, no recordsdata to obtain (our app is streaming solely to supply extra safety to these recordsdata).”
The pandemic ramped up unprecedented interest in podcasting when lockdowns had been in place throughout the globe. Even with vaccines extra available now, Hewitt mentioned Castos remains to be witnessing robust development in the podcasting trade.
“There are all the new podcasters in the market now since so many launched podcasts throughout the pandemic, however now that persons are touring once more and commuting to work we’re seeing listenership going up fairly a bit,” he mentioned. “This is a development we anticipate to proceed into the future.”
In the previous 10 months, Castos has grown to serve practically 3,500 clients and the crew has grown from seven workers to 13. The firm’s Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin is used on greater than 30,000 WordPress websites. Castos is actively hiring for several roles proper now, thanks to the new spherical of fundraising.
“All of the funds will go in the direction of rising our crew,” Hewitt mentioned. “This can be fairly evenly break up between product (designers and builders) and Sales and Marketing roles – extra individuals, extra power, extra nice minds engaged on ways in which we are able to higher serve our clients.”