- Podcorn (founded by Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski) announced it raised $2.2 million in seed funding led by Global Founders Capital
Podcorn — a company founded by Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski that is helping podcasters monetize — recently announced it raised $2.2 million in seed funding. The seed round of funding was led by Global Founders Capital with participation from Bessemer, 500 Startups, and Alumni Ventures Group, and several others.
Kozera and Kierzkowski had previously founded a company called FameBit (acquired by Google), which is a company that connected brands to YouTube influencers to set up marketing campaigns.
“We saw a really big opportunity in podcasting,” said Kozera in an interview with Forbes. “There are now 700,000 podcasts out there, but 85 percent don’t monetize. It’s really fragmented. There’s no central place where podcasts sit.”
The podcast has been heating up as Spotify acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor earlier this year. Apple is also unbundling a Podcasts app from iTunes on the macOS desktop operating system as it has done for its iOS mobile operating system.
“Brands don’t have a way to collaborate directly,” added Kozera. “We want to bring native into podcasting, so it’s less disruptive. It’s providing liquidity to all these players.”
Podcorn is launching this fall as a self-service platform that would allow podcasters and brands to easily find each other and set up deals. The way it will work is that a brand will sign up, set up a campaign, and then list the budget.
And the Podcorn system will use machine learning to match the campaign with the right podcasts. After the parties agree to the deal, the system will set up a virtual workroom for the project and the funds will be kept in escrow during the campaign. Once the project is done and approved, the money will be released.
The ads will suggest native programming formats and integrations. However, there will be flexibility for podcasters and brands to set up custom solutions. This will feel much more natural than a 30-second pre-roll.