Lead Podcast Wondery Raises $5M From Legendary VC Investor.
Wondery, A Network of Storytellers, creates and curates immersive podcasts in the entertainment, true crime, personal growth, business, and history verticals.
Alan Patricof, Greycroft co-founder and legendary venture capitalist who’s invested in the Huffington Post, NY Magazine and AOL, to name a few, has just announced his $5M investment in Wondery, lead podcast network in a $60B industry.
Other investors in the company include BAM Ventures, Water Tower Ventures, Fox Networks Group, BDMI and industry experts, including Stanley Shuman and Michael Kassan.
Wondery’s CEO, Hernan Lopez, was formerly the CEO of Fox.
With six No. 1 podcasts since its 2016 launch, Wondery has gained massive critical and commercial success for its immersive approach to sound and storytelling. It is the fastest to become a top 10 publisher on Podtrac, along the likes of NPR, WNYC, HowStuffWorks, ESPN and The New York Times.
Wondery’s No. 1 podcasts include Dirty John, Young Charlie, American History Tellers and Business Wars, and these podcasts have been featured and praised by USA Today, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, NBC’s Today show and many top publications and broadcast channels.
Lopez founded Wondery after an 18-year career at Fox. There, following a long track record of expansion and value creation, in 2010 he was promoted to president & CEO of Fox International Channels, a $3 billion division overseeing television channels, production houses, and digital assets all over the world.
This new investment demonstrates the ever-evolving interest in podcasting. Podcasts are the fastest growing segment within the $60 billion global audio industry, which includes passive and active listening. The number of listeners has nearly doubled in the past four years, with one in four Americans listening to podcasts on a monthly basis. Interest in podcasting has also been re-invigorated by a breakneck growth in adoption of smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
“As we enter a new golden age of audio, we couldn’t be more excited about investing in Wondery”, said Alan Patricof, Co-founder of Greycroft. “Wondery’s creative approach, business model and management with experience in scaling businesses make it the ideal bet in the active listening space.”
Wondery will use the proceeds to expand its lineup of original podcasts, including American Innovations, Dr. Death and I, Survivor, and grow the audience of existing original and partner shows, including Business Wars and Tides Of History.
“Along the years, we have been lucky enough to be associated with The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Axios, and Group Nine Media, among other media startups. We are now proud to add Wondery to our portfolio. We believe it’s an ideal time to invest in podcasting and that Wondery will be a leader in the industry”, said Eric Hippeau, Managing Partner of Lerer Hippeau.
Jon Goldman, a Venture Partner at Greycroft, is joining the board representing all investors. Goldman is a General Partner at GC Tracker, a seed stage fund focused on videogames, AR/VR and eSports, and managing partner at Skybound, the IP holder of The Walking Dead and many other premier properties. Jason Nazar, Co-founder and CEO of Comparably and Entrepreneur-In-Residence, City of Los Angeles, will round up the board alongside Lopez.
“Active Listening is the most exciting sector within the $60 billion global audio industry. With the backing of some of the most experienced investors in media in the world, we’re looking forward to executing on a plan to become the premier destination for immersive storytelling,” Lopez said.