Acast secures AUD$24.3 million Series B Funding

Staff Writer

Acast, the world’s leading technology platform for on-demand audio and podcasting, announced today that the company has secured a Series B investment of AUD$24.3 million ($19.5 million USD) led by a group of Swedish Investors.

Since launching in Australia in February 2017, the company’s mission locally is to bring great Australian content to the rest of the world. The company recently signed a partnership with Nova establishing the biggest podcast player in the Australian market due to their combined inventory.

Henrik Isaksson, Country Manager – Australia, hopes the recent funding will support Acast’s efforts in Australia and his priority is to grow the platform’s presence helping local podcast providers monetise content and give listeners an enjoyable place to discover it.

“A huge 3.4 million Australians listened to a podcast in May this year, at an average of six per week,” he said.

“We’re committed to providing an end-to-end platform to give Aussies an optimum podcast experience, providing: a content management system, analytics engine, distribution network, advanced advertising service, listening app, and sales assistance force.”

Lead investors in the round were Swedbank Robur funds Ny Teknik and Microcap as well as Norron Asset Management’s funds Target and Select. This represents the first non-listed investment for Ny Teknik and Microcap funds. Acast has now raised almost AUD$40 million (over $32 million USD) to date including this most recent Series B from investors including Bonnier Growth Media, MOOR Capital, Alfvén & Didrikson, the CNI Network, and Inbox Capital.

In the three years since its founding, Acast has pioneered the dynamic advertising insertion model, become the platform of choice for more than 2,000 audio content creators, and developed world class reliable statistics following international guides and standards to give content creators and advertisers the clearest understanding of listener behavior.

The series B funding will be used to significantly expand and grow the already strong engineering team to continue to develop Acast’s premiere audio-on-demand technology suite. The new funds will also go towards accelerating the growth of the US market and expanding into new international markets.

Acast is the largest global end to end platform for audio-on-demand, supporting more than 56 million listens each month. The company has built strong relationships with the content creators on the platform including both media houses and independent creators such as Watch What Crappens, The Financial Times, The Football Ramble, Spar, Varvet, VICE, and The Economist.

Acast was founded in 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden and points to their Scandinavian roots as a big part of their success.

“Sweden is home to many of the world’s top streaming services, and Acast is no exception. The Scandinavian culture of early adoption coupled with an incredible network of sophisticated investors that see the value in new services and in pushing boundaries made it an easy choice to build and grow our business here,” said Mans Ulvestam, Acast Co-Founder and CEO.

“This new financing round from Robur and Norron will allow us to bring our vision of the future of audio to life.” 

Acast Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Karl Rosander explained that Acast is fundamentally changing the global radio landscape.

“The content environment is shifting quickly and as radio becomes less and less relevant, audio-on-demand will take its place. This is the future for Acast and we are honored to have attracted partners like Robur and Norron who support our vision.”

Podcasting is continuing to grow globally. In the US, monthly podcast listeners now number more than 67 million, an increase of 21% year over year. While in the UK 62% of adults listen to podcasts each month and the smartphone is the most popular device.

Carl Armfelt and Erik Sprinchorn, fund managers of Ny Teknik and Microcap funds said “Sweden and Stockholm are uniquely positioned to create technology driven consumer businesses and we are immensely happy to support entrepreneurs building world class businesses. Acast, with its ambition to be the world’s largest audio-on-demand hub, represents a superb opportunity for our fund unit holders to participate in this form of value creation.”

Nicklas Granath, founding partner and portfolio manager of Norron Select said “We are very pleased to be investing in what we consider the media of the future. With its strong and continuous growth and featuring the world’s top podcasters, Acast is indeed at the forefront of this exciting technological and societal evolution that we are excited to be part of.”

ABG Sundal Collier AB acted as financial adviser to Acast in relation to the financing round.

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