Whether you’re stuck in traffic, working out, or commuting via public transit, chances are you’re listening to your favorite podcast. You’re not alone — 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly, five times more than they go to the movies.
Investors are taking note: Atlanta-based HowStuffWorks, the largest for-profit podcasting company in the world in terms of streams and downloads, raised a $15 million Series A round led by The Raine Group, a global merchant bank.
Though HowStuffWorks has been around since the late 1990’s, this is its first private funding round of this size.
“Podcasting has finally proven itself as a viable space for investment, and we feel that HowStuffWorks’ expertise in creating authentic audio content will prove to be a solid foundation to drive future growth. We’re excited about this strategic investment and are confident that HowStuffWorks will continue to be the top destination for podcasting,” said Pete Amaro, Vice President at The Raine Group.
The Series A round is just one of the many changes incurred during the company’s almost 20-year journey. Following this round, the podcasting company will become a private entity with the Raine Group and its former parent company System1 will become investors.
With this crucial change, HowStuffWorks, after being owned by multiple entities including Discovery Communications over the years, will cement its future as an independent company with the capital to continue scaling its podcasting content.
HowStuffWorks currently boasts a roster of 14 shows, including their top 20 global podcast Stuff You Should Know. This year, the company saw 375 million show downloads of its library and surpassed one billion total downloads with a year-over-year double revenue growth.
With its new funding, the company hopes to continue investing in podcasts with a focus on new talent, new genres, and product development in podcasting technology.
“HowStuffWorks has always been a leader in the podcasting industry and has amassed a fiercely loyal and engaged fan base,” said Michael Blend, president and co-founder of System1. “We’ve seen first-hand their rapid growth since our acquisition of the company and are excited to have Raine onboard to help accelerate the next stage of growth.”
Photo via HowStuffWorks