Audioboo, the Twitter-for-audio, closes first major round

Next Story

Live from Apple's 2010 WWDC Keynote

Audioboo, the ‘Twitter for Audio’, has closed its first major funding round, having ridden out a “monthly cash crisis”, the company tells TechCrunch Europe.

And while the actual amount of new funding isn’t being disclosed, we’ve learned that it’s somewhere in the region of £1.5m.

Audioboo’s investors now include Channel 4’s digital media fund 4iP, which provided the UK startup’s initial funding which will be converted in to equity, along with UBC Media (an existing Pro customer), Imagination Technologies (owners of PURE Radio and who have both Apple and Intel as backers), and angel investors including Qualcom’s Sir Don Cruickshank, who will become Audioboo’s new Chairman.

Audioboo founder and CEO Mark Rock calls the funding “very strategic”. But it’s notable that no venture capital fund, which Audioboo would have talked to, decided to participate. However, having UBC Media on board, which is heavily into radio production, and Imagination, who’s PURE division is into radio technology, means Audioboo “can rapidly experiment and develop our ideas about how audio content will function, feel and make money in the future,” says Rock.

Audioboo’s mobile and web platform, which in part competes with another UK company, ipadio, enables users to easily capture and share audio (primarily spoken word) via the web and iPhone/Android apps. The platform also supports posting to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Its users include the likes of Stephen Fry, BBC Radio, The Guardian, British Army and The Labour Party – and, now and again, TechCrunch Europe. Along with a free version, Audioboo offers a paid-for version which is licensed by The Royal Opera House, British Library and Open University, among others.

While Hossein Yassaie, CEO, Imagination Technologies, adds: “Audioboo is exactly the kind of innovative technology in which the UK excels and we are delighted to be involved both as an investor and as a partner. There are clear synergies between Audioboo and Imagination, via PURE, our world leading radio brand, and we are confident that we will continue to work as both an investor and partner to ensure Audioboo achieves its potential.”

Imagination Technologies’ investment also sees Audioboo and radio maker PURE sign an agreement to “begin work on launching a new enhanced Audioboo service on a number of PURE’s internet connected radios.”

The company has also announced that Bruce Akhurst has joined as Chief Commercial Officer and will sit on the Board. Akhurst co-founded One2one (T-mobile UK) and has held senior positions at Orange and Vodafone.

  • http://www.octechnophile.com david amodt

    congrats to audioboo. good service and interesting reach.

  • S Grech

    Audioboo has come a long way. Nice one. Came across a potential “disruptor” the other day – Voisse. Check Voisse out at http://www.voisse.com. They offer enhanced podcasts, slideshows allowing you to record your voice from anywhere

  • A O'Brien

    Reading the full Audioboo company profile, i noticed that the person who wrote the profile has made an error. Obviously they says the number three like ‘free’. I wouldn’t have bothered writing this comment but saying three like free is just annoying.

  • Voice junkie

    It is human tendency to write and not speak. Twitter is easy to jott and hence it was successful.

    Audioboo has no real business model. Why would I say something and share?

    I would write something and have everyone look at it.

    If it is comical or entertaining piece I want to share, I would rather use Youtube for that. BTW, I saw their feeds and first one was sharing music. Well now, they have more things to fix – DMA too.

    Anyone sees a business logic? I fail.

  • http://www.hive45.com Nathan Waters

    It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of funding these simple, completely non-innovative startups rake in. Techcrunch is a depressing read in this sense.

    • Paul

      “It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of funding these simple, completely non-innovative startups rake in.”

      This from the guy ripping off Diggnation and bringing nothing new to the party.

      • http://www.hive45.com Nathan Waters

        Diggnation in style, the content is very different.

        I don’t want to go the VC route, so raising the capital organically now to build a team to make some real shit happen. Recommendation engines is a keen interest of mine, and a bunch of other actually innovative ideas on the way in due course.

        Audioboo is nothing more than Odeo with mobile apps. And I see this shit every week on Techcrunch. Startups raising millions for ideas that have zero innovation, and definitely zero business model (apart from the lofty goal of a sellout to one of the big guys).

        If you want to do some actual innovation in the audio/mobile sector, take this idea: personalised radio. If you lack the ability to think of something innovative from just those two words, then you’re too old to be in this space.

  • Chair2Go

    There isn’t any money in voice record/share startups: vc’s who see flow and have institutional memory know how difficult this space is. VC’s see probably 10 companies every six months pitching these type of services. Strategic investors don’t see this flow.

    The best exit was snapvine getting purchased downround two years ago. Below are links to other posts here on techcrunch that may be useful…

    snapvine: https://techcrunch.com/2008/06/04/whitepagescom-to-buy-snapvine-for-around-20-million/

    chinswing : https://techcrunch.com/2006/12/08/chinswing-brings-audio-to-discussion-boards/

    yackpack : https://techcrunch.com/2005/11/05/yackpack-joins-the-click-record-crowd/

    yodio : http://www.crunchbase.com/company/yodio

    If, as one of the investor says “Audioboo is exactly the kind of innovative technology in which the UK excels,” UK investors may want to have team members in the US helping with due diligence of business models.

  • john

    I thought that twitter was the most retarded thing on the internet already, but this beats it hands down.

    What the world is coming to?

  • http://www.analytica1st.com @yaromir

    It’s just amazing how much money is poured into this startup! In contrast, I just wrote about twireco, a Japanese company that does similar things like audiboo but in a more web 2.0 manner (Google Maps, AdMob, Twitter APIs integration). Interestingly, twireco is just a pet project running without any significant amount of money put into it. I think audioboo could borrow a couple of ideas from twireco:

  • http://www.xatchatroulette.com/ Chatroulette

    The best exit was snapvine getting purchased downround two years ago. Below are links to other posts here on techcrunch that may be useful…

blog comments powered by Disqus