Podcastle, a podcasting platform that has boosted its product with various generative AI-driven features, has raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Mosaic Ventures.
Also participating were existing Podcastle investors RTP Global, Point Nine Capital, Sierra Ventures and Andrew Ng’s AI Fund. Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena and Moonbug Media CEO René Rechtman also participated in the round.
The platform now claims to have around a million creators using its tools, many of which have AI-driven features, although this figure has not been independently verified.
In a statement, Simon Levene, co-founder and partner of Mosaic Ventures, commented: “Arto and the team at Podcastle have built a leading product, and are already showing signs of organic growth that we believe will only accelerate in the years ahead.”
In a conversation with Arto Yeritsyan, founder and CEO of Podcastle, told me: “Last summer we released podcasts for teams. So we’re moving from single-user experience to multiplayer experience. So this funding is aimed to scale that. We saw this scale with 10x growth last year. So basically, we'll be scaling that.
Podcastle offers Revoice, a generative AI voice cloning tool; Magic Dust AI, to improve audio quality; the Podcastle Hosting Hub; and Podcastle for Teams.
He said the platform is concentrating on long-form content creation, both audio and video: “Basically anything that produces content, which is not like TikTok-type of short-form content. We help teams collaborate, and it covers the entire workflow from ideation into actually getting it to the audience, meaning you can record on our platform, you can then edit or invite somebody to edit.”
He also thinks the platform differentiates itself from competitors by offering real-time collaboration and AI functionalities.
“We compete with Riverside on the recording side and Descript on the editing side. Descript is desktop-based which you need to install on your computer, whereas we're web-based and covering the entire flow. So our offering is being a one-stop shop with real-time collaboration on the web. As a comparison, we’d be like Sketch versus Figma. Sketch needed to be installed on your computer, not really web-based or cloud-based where you could collaborate, and Figma basically came in as a collaborative product. So we are pretty similar but for video and audio content creation.”
He plans to make a virtue of both these collaborative features and online editing: “In our case, you have the entire workflow within the same product. Podcasters can invite editors and the team can make the edits and can then can invite the marketer to create assets like short-form videos of the long-form video and share it to social, right from the same platform without leaving.”
I also asked him what are the biggest trends in podcasting right now.
“The biggest trend is what we call studio sound. Our tools can generate a ‘pseudo quality audio’ from any input. So you can record something on your phone and the output that you get is almost like you've been in a studio, even if you're podcasting with three people, with each of them having a different environment, different distance from the microphone, different noise levels.”
He says these tools were built because video podcasting is getting very popular on YouTube, where it is being pushed, so Podcastle introduced video tools to cover this demand: “Regardless of what camera you use, you can generate DSLR camera quality. You can add AI blur or a bokeh effect.”
Another big trend is marketing, he says: “We met this with the ability to create a lot of shorts and distribute those to all the social platforms. AI gives you the opportunity to do that automatically, rather than manually, by generating all the assets that you need to share in different platforms to attract users to your long-form content.”
He says consumers and businesses are starting to make their decisions not by scrolling through websites but by watching their content: “They're going to their YouTube channels, podcasts and listening to that and then making a decision, as opposed to the old ways of doing that.”
I also asked him if he thinks Armenia is becoming more of a tech hub, given unicorn companies like Picsart have emerged from there. Podcastle’s engineering team operates out of Armenia, which is fast becoming a new European tech hub, having been boosted by the establishment of offices by big companies like Adobe and Nvidia in their search for programming talent, especially in AI.
“Yes, definitely. We’re basically becoming a small Silicon Valley here. You will see companies like Adobe building offices. The CEO of Adobe was here last year. We have Nvidia here, and people from companies like Picsart are starting their own companies. I was a VP of Engineering at Picsart for about eight years,” he says.
The company has also recently hired Allan Rechtman, a former VP at Canva, as its chief commercial officer; Damian Sacco as VP of Growth (formerly Prezi); and Dmitry Kopylovsky has been promoted to chief marketing officer.