In this episode Matt and Craig talk through the fundraising round that Castos has recently completed.
Castos, a leader in podcast hosting and analytics, has successfully closed an investment round of $756,000. With investments by Automattic, Joost de Valk of Yoast SEO, and individual investors, Castos will use this additional capital to fuel its advance into the Private Podcasting market.
With podcasting, and audio content in general, showing no signs of slowing now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, Castos believes that the future of podcasting is in tools that allow creators to own their own content and distribution channels through Private Podcasting.
Castos’ roots in the open source community through their Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin for WordPress along with the investment from Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) further strengthens the ability for WordPress users to own their content, the platform that it’s built on, and the control they have over how it is distributed. WordPress with Seriously Simple Podcasting and Castos as the hosting engine means that podcasters can own their content and data, and the ability to manage Private Podcasts right from WordPress just enhances that ability.
Castos’ founder and CEO, Craig Hewitt, recounted “We have seen a significant increase in interest from customers with online courses, membership sites, and digital communities wanting to provide exclusive podcast content to those members, as well as companies wanting to provide private podcast content for their employees. We see this as an area of the podcasting market that’s at a tipping point, starting to explode in popularity.”
With Castos’ existing Zapier integration, REST API, and direct integrations with tools like Elementor, Descript, MemberSpace, AdBarker, and Alitu, the company will continue to give podcasters the tools and extensibility they need to harness the power of audio to grow their brand…whether that’s externally with customers, or internally with their teams.
Hewitt said that “We hear from companies over and over again that they’re looking for the ‘Step Away Experience‘ where employees can engage with their internal content without having to be glued to a screen. Something that is remote first, asynchronous, audio-based, on demand….and of course, hyper secure. Private podcasting fits the bill perfectly for these companies, and that’s what we’re delivering to brands across the globe.”
Castos has been, to this point, a mostly self-funded company, taking only a small investment when joining the TinySeed startup accelerator in 2019. Today they are a team of 13 located in 4 continents, serving thousands of passionate podcasters all across the world.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to put this investment to work in furthering our product offering, continuing to build out our team, and provide podcasters with the solutions they need to better connect with their audiences.” Hewitt said. The majority of the funds will be used to build out their sales and marketing teams, and on designers and developers to accelerate work on their suite of products.