It was just announced that DAG Ventures is leading a $15 million B round for Podshow. News got out yesterday and though the investors weren’t named until today, disbelief was the widespread reaction. DAG saw its investment in Grouper, which was presumably much smaller, pay off last month when the video sharing service was acquired by Sony for $65 million. The fund also participated in a $10 million funding in Friendster last month after the company secured a controversial patent. Other investments in the DAG portfolio include SpikeSource and Zimbra.
Podshow assures me that they have a plan to be more than a podcasting company, they intend to be a media company. They want to be a primary enabler of what they believe will be the dominant theme in media in the future when much of the content consumed by audiences will be produced by other media consumers.
Here’s some details to chew on for now, according to Podshow co-founder Ron Bloom.
- Podshow has had between 35 and 40 global brand advertisers over the last year. They have over 1000 shows on the network but wouldn’t discuss revenues.
- The company has partnerships with Sirius Satellite Radio, AOL (details still hazy on this one) and this month announced a partnership with British Telecom (see TechCrunch UK coverage).
- Podshow plans next to move into more mobile devices and into the home.
Bloom tells me that the BT deal, in which Podshow will provide both audio and video in BT’s attempt to radically remake itself, is a model of the direction the company hopes to move in.
This round brings Podshow’s funding to over $23 million. Is this wise? I have a hard time believing that the fund would invest in Podshow, and that Podshow would take the money, without some good information regarding the company’s plan to become a substantial media player. If they can continue landing big sponsorships and partnerships then I think we may see the critics proven wrong. While other user generated content companies struggle with legal issues and advertising, Podshow is a real contender to be a leading new media company in a changing industry landscape.