Podchaser raises $4M to build a comprehensive podcast database

Podchaser, a startup building what it calls “IMDB for podcasts,” recently announced that it has raised $ 4 million in a funding round led by Greycroft.

In other words, it’s a site where — similar to the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database — users can look up who’s appeared in which podcasts, rate and review those podcasts and add them to lists. In fact, CEO Bradley Davis told me that the startup’s “vibrant, exciting community of podcast nerds” have already created 8.5 million podcast credits in the database.

Davis said this is something he simply wanted to exist and was, in fact, convinced that it had to exist already. When he realized that it didn’t, he posted on Reddit asking whether anyone was willing to build the company with him — which is how he connected with his eventual co-founder and CTO Ben Slinger in Australia. (Podchaser is a fully distributed company, with Davis currently based in Oklahoma City.)

To be clear, Davis doesn’t think podcast nerds are the only ones taking advantage of the listings. Instead, he suggested that it’s useful for anyone looking to learn more about podcasts and discover new ones, with Podchaser’s monthly active users quintupling over the past year.

For example, he said that one of the most popular pages is politician Pete Buttigieg’s profile, where visitors don’t just learn about Buttigieg’s own podcast but see others on which he’s appeared. (You can also use Podchaser to learn more about TechCrunch’s Equity, Mixtape and Original Content podcasts, though those profiles could stand to be filled out a bit more.)

There has been endless discussion about how to fix podcast discovery, and while Davis isn’t claiming that Podchaser will solve it wholesale, he thinks it can be part of the solution — not just through its own database, but through the broader Podcast Taxonomy project that it’s organizing.

“I think if we are successful at standardizing a lot fo the terminology, and if we do an analysis of all podcasts, of how popular they are, that [will help many listeners] to cull and find the good stuff,” he said.

Podchaser plans to add new features that will further encourage user contributions, like a gamification system and a discussion system.

While the consumer site is free, the startup recently launched a paid product called Podchaser Pro, which provides reach and demographic data across 1.8 million podcasts. It also monetizes by providing podcast players with access to its credits through an API.

Davis said the startup was “lucky” that it decided to build a database that’s “agnostic” from any specific podcast player.

“So we had a lot of latitude to work with those platforms, we integrate with many of those platforms and you’re going to see a lot of our credits showing up [in podcast players],” he said.

In addition to Greycroft, Advancit Capital, LightShed Ventures, Powerhouse Capital, High Alpha, Hyde Park Venture Partners and Poplar Ventures also participated in the round, as did TrendKite founder A.J. Bruno, Ad Results Media CEO Marshall Williams and Shamrock Capital Partner Mike LaSalle.

“Even in the face of a pandemic, the podcast market continues to grow at a breakneck pace,” said Greycroft co-founder and chairman Alan Patricof in a statement. “The demand from consumers and brands is insatiable. Podchaser’s data and discovery tools are crucial to taking podcasting to new heights.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Drone-focused construction startup TraceAir raises $3.5M

Bay Area-based construction startup TraceAir today announced a $ 3.5 million Series A. Led by London-based XTX Ventures, this round brings the company’s total funding up to $ 7 million. The raise includes existing investor Metropolis VC, along with new additions Liquid 2 Ventures, GEM Capital, GPS Ventures and Andrew Filev.

We first noted the company back in 2016, when it pitched a method for using drones to spot construction errors before they become too expense. It’s a pretty massive field that various technology companies are attempting to solve through a variety of different means, ranging from quadrupedal robots to site-scanning hard hats.

Last February, TraceAir announced a new drone management tool. “Haul Router provides the best mathematically objective hauls for each given drone scan,” the company noted at the time. “Any employee can use the tool to design a haul road and export the results to feed into grading equipment.”

The pandemic has thrown the construction industry for a loop (along with countless others). But unlike other sectors, demand still remains high in many places. TraceAir is hoping its solution will prove beneficial as many outfits seek a way to continue the process in spite of uncertainty.

“The Covid-19 pandemic created new challenges for the U.S. and worldwide construction industries, resulting in delayed projects and growing unemployment rates,” CEO Dmitry Korolev said in a release tied to the news. “Our platform allows industry leaders to manage projects more efficiently and collaborate with their teams remotely, minimizing the need for a physical presence on-site.”

TraceAir says the additional funding will go toward its sales and marketing, along with future product developments, including an unnamed product set for release this quarter.

Startups – TechCrunch

UK’s WhiteHat rebrands as Multiverse, raises $44M to build tech apprenticeships in the US – TechCrunch

UK’s WhiteHat rebrands as Multiverse, raises $ 44M to build tech apprenticeships in the US  TechCrunch
“startups when:1d” – Google News

As Online Lending Picks Pace, SME Loans Marketplace CreditEnable Raises Funds To Enhance Tech – Inc42 Media

As Online Lending Picks Pace, SME Loans Marketplace CreditEnable Raises Funds To Enhance Tech  Inc42 Media
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Crypto startup Amber Group raises $530 million AUM as institutions, retail arrive – Cointelegraph

Crypto startup Amber Group raises $ 530 million AUM as institutions, retail arrive  Cointelegraph
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Monument Raises $10.3M for its Evidence-Based Online Alcohol Treatment Platform

For so many people, the conventional social construct is centered around alcohol, starting in college and continuing through adulthood. For many, this relationship with alcohol leads to alcohol use disorder or simply drinking too much; the consequences of this medical condition ripples into families and affect as many as 100M people in the US alone. Monument is a digital platform and community for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. The tiered subscription service provides members access with resources, access to a dedicated care team of physicians and therapists, and medication if necessary. Since the company’s launch in May of last year, 13,000 members have already signed up. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO, Cofounder, and repeat entrepreneur (cofounded Paintzen acquired by PPG) Mike Russell to learn more on how his personal experience serves as the inspiration for the business, launching and fundraising in the middle of the pandemic, the company’s latest round of funding led by San Francisco-based VMG Catalyst, and much, much more…
AlleyWatch