Home / LIFESTYLE / An ex-Googler offering her residence to account her startup — and she or he simply acquired $13 million to erect a ‘Netflix of podcasting’ (NFLX)

An ex-Googler offering her residence to account her startup — and she or he simply acquired $13 million to erect a ‘Netflix of podcasting’ (NFLX)


When Renee Wang give adult her pursuit during Google to launch a code new podcasting app, she knew 0 buyers, creation it a lot some-more durable to get a income to get a startup off a bottom.

Her answer? Promote her residence in Beijing.

“At a moment, we did not have another answer,” Wang suggested Enterprise Insider.

Now, 3 years after a initial in 2015, her startup Castbox is on a rise, given it during this time publicizes a $13.5 million Collection B round of financing led by SIG China. That brings Castbox’s finish appropriation as most as $29 million, portion to gasoline a operations given it reaches over 1.5 million customers.

Wang refers to Castbox given a “Netflix of podcasting.” The podcast member creates it elementary for business to find associated podcasts by giving curated suggestions essentially formed on each consumer’s particular listening habits. Plus, Castbox creates authentic podcasts of a really personal.

Whereas there are many podcast apps — together with a one that comes assembled into a iPhone — Castbox has one torpedo characteristic: It creates use of a imagination essentially formed on “pure denunciation processing” and appurtenance study that can support we hunt a library of 50 million podcast episodes for a comparison pivotal word or phrase. The outcomes cocktail adult from a hunt bar, and we might bound correct to a half we want.

The corporate’s new round of financing will assent it to assume additional in authentic calm element and furnish new audiences into a fold, in line with Wang.

She peril a home on Castbox

Wang used to spend hours a day travelling between her residence in Tokyo and a places of work of Google Japan, a place she worked as an comment administrator within a mobile apps division. She began listening to podcasts to check Japanese and go a time, however struggled to learn a member that upheld totally opposite languages and gave associated suggestions. An judgment sparked.

“Possibly we can arise my really own,” Wang remembered deliberation to herself.


Castbox app screenshots

She left Google and returned to her residence republic of China, a place she assembled Castbox and employed a primary few staff with a income she assembled from compelling her one-bedroom let in Beijing. She slept in shifts on a common mattress within a firm’s places of work to save lots of income and time.

The app was an prompt hit. Two months after launch, Castbox beheld over 100,000 downloads.

‘Netflix for podcasting’

Castbox grew shortly, and it wanted additional financing to arise a staff and arise a options.

The corporate landed a initial appropriation in 2016 when a Chinese denunciation appropriation agency, ZhenFund, listened Wang’s pitch, done some calls to exam her references, and returned with a time duration piece inside a half hour — an scarcely rapid turnaround in required craving capital.

Wang walked divided with $1 million.

Podcasts have been “having a second” given 2014, when blockbuster podcast “Serial” launched a format to a broader viewers. Greater than a 3rd of People have ever listened to a podcast, a arise of 13% over 2013, in line with a consult by marketplace research group Edison Analysis.

With a podcast rebirth displaying no indicators of slowing, Wang imagines that, sometime, people will flip to Castbox for “on-demand audio” in a matching demeanour they binge TV and films on Netflix.

Her design for 2018 is to launch a series of additional authentic applications, with an importance on giving a voice to delicate hosts. (In 2017, ladies hosted simply 13% of a top 100 podcasts within a US.)

In a benefaction day, Wang alternates operative in Castbox’s places of work in San Francisco and Beijing. She does, certainly, nap and have an house, Wang stated. She remade a corporate’s prior workplace in Beijing into an house, that reserve her a one-minute invert to a code new workplace tighten by.

When Enterprise Insider spoke with Wang, it was 11:30 during dusk in Beijing. We listened rumblings within a background, that Wang settled was her staff members within a workplace strenuous during work on a app.

“That is how we work. we cruise there’s a whole lot of good people who find themselves a lot smarter [than me]. If we wish to ship, we contingency compensate additional bid and check out my finest,” Wang stated.

Check Also

A startup that creates high-tech notebooks crashed and burnt on ‘Shark Tank,’ however craving is booming

Rocketbook, a startup that creates and sells “good” paper-and-pen notebooks that assent business entrance their …