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Podcast marketplace Acast secures $35m to boost smart speaker presence

Podcast marketplace Acast secures $35m to boost smart speaker presence

Swedish podcast startup Acast has secured support to the tune of $35m from Nordic investors to help raise its profile in the burgeoning smart speaker market.

The investment values Acast at $190m, close to double the valuation attained during the audio providers last funding round just 15 months ago and drawing the firm closer to an eventual stock market listing.

Acast chief executive Ross Adams commented: “This is all about growth and setting us up for expansion. There’s so much room for growth. Only 70 million people in the US listen to podcasts, or 26% of the population.

“The business is still in its infancy. It’s not like video — audio is much simpler and more cost economic to produce . . . There’s so much more content we would like to sign.”

Launched in 2014 Acast has grown to encompass the Nordic nations, the UK, US, North America and Australasia where it offers listeners access to a range of podcasts which employ a dynamic form of advertising which tailors commercials for the individual time and place of each individual.

By freeing itself from the need to rely on generic pre-recorded material Acast can charge more for each ad it sells, taking a cut of the proceeds in the process.

Adams remains coy on Acast’s revenues but boasts that the figure jumped by 90% during the first nine months of the year versus the same period last year – although the business is still thought to be loss making.

According to Acast's own figures some 76% of UK listeners have acted on a podcast ad.

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