Podcasting startup Castbox has announced a new $13.5 million in Series B round for its new podcast app.
The round was led by SIG China with partnerships from GSR Ventures, IDG Capital and Qiming Venture Partners.
Castbox, which was founded by former Google employee Renee Wang in 2016, has raised $29.5 million to date.
There are a number of podcast services in the market today that integrate with Amazon Echo, Google Home and Android Auto and other automated and smart home devices but Castbox has achieved much more success than its rivals thanks to its proprietary technology.
The app uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to let the users search its library of over 50 million podcast episodes for a specific keyword, which means you no longer need to depend on things like episode titles, show notes and descriptions to find the desired topic.
Besides that, Castbox allows users to discover relevant podcast apps based on their prior listening behaviour.
The app has been downloaded over 15 million times, out of which 100,000 came in just two months of launch, and 1.8 million daily users.
Castbox is hugely popular among Americans, who account for 45 percent of its global user base.
Castbox has been downloaded over 15 million times, out of which 100,000 came in just two months after launch, and 1.8 million daily users
According to Wang, who also serves as Castbox’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Americans spend 113 minutes per day listening to the app, more than users of any other country.
Chinese users lead the way in terms of subscriptions with an average of 12 per user.
“Podcasting is still in its early stages, but it’s growing at an incredible pace. We have innovative features that our users love, but it’s not enough to keep up with the growing market demand,” said Wang.
The ex-Googler said that the new funding would be used to boost company’s recently-launched own original programming project called Castbox Originals.
“Over the next two months, we’ve committed to launching more than a dozen Castbox Originals in addition to the ones we’ve already released in the past 30 days. On this front, we’ll continue identifying the right partners to work with as we expand our content strategy, which will allow us to strengthen our brand in the podcasting space,” added Wang.
Castbox’s headquarter is located in Beijing. The company also operates from offices in San Francisco and Hong Kong.