Castos secures $ 756,000 in funding from Automattic and Joost de Valk to expand services into private podcasting market – WP Tavern
Castos, a podcast hosting provider powered by WordPress, announced a pre-seed fundraiser of $ 756,000 today from Automattic, Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast SEO, and others. The company has raised funds from all investors in this cycle via a SAFE rating, which founder and CEO Craig Hewitt says is a fairly standard investment vehicle for companies in the growth stage of Castos.
âOn the individual and corporate investor side, I think investors see our vision for what the private podcasting market can mean for Castos and want to help us realize that potential,â Hewitt said.
Private podcasting is a growing trend where creators and organizations broadcast to supporters in a more intimate format that is not open to the public. Hewitt compares them to membership sites except in audio format. It is often used by people who run membership sites, courses, or online communities to stay in touch with members.
âThe other app is for companies that want a way to connect with their employees in audio format,â Hewitt said. âPodcasting is perfect for this because it is first and foremost mobile, on demand and can be consumed asynchronously. We call it Remote experience. Companies embracing private in-house podcasting are giving their team members a way to consume their internal content without being tied to their computer on a Zoom call or glued to Slack.
Castos is developing a mobile application specifically intended for the private podcasting market. The Hewitt team aims to make the app a place where people can listen to all the private podcasts they have a subscription for. Listeners would just use the app instead of going through the process of manually subscribing to all of their private podcasts through an RSS feed. New episodes will automatically appear in the app for subscribers.
âFor our corporate clients, the ability to white label our app with their own branding / style is a big win,â Hewitt said. âIt’s also a much safer way to distribute private podcast content. There is no RSS feed to share, no files to download (our application only broadcasts to provide more security for these files).
The pandemic sparked unprecedented interest in podcasting when lockdowns were in place across the world. Even with vaccines more readily available now, Hewitt said Castos is still seeing strong growth in the podcasting industry.
âThere are all new podcasters on the market now since so many podcasts launched during the pandemic, but now that people are traveling again and going to work, we are seeing the audience increase a bit,â he said. declared. âThis is a trend that we plan to continue in the future. “
Over the past 10 months, Castos has grown to serve nearly 3,500 clients and the team has grown from seven to 13. Really easy podcasting plugin is used on over 30,000 WordPress sites. Castos is actively recruitment for several positions now, thanks to the new fundraiser.
âAll funds will go towards growing our team,â Hewitt said. âIt will be roughly evenly split between product roles (designers and developers) and sales and marketing roles – more people, more energy, more great minds working on ways to better serve our customers. ”