Social Audio Podcasting Platform Callin Launches With $12M Funding
New social audio and podcasting startup Callin has launched a mobile app for creating and consuming audio content. The startup, co-founded by original PayPal COO David Sacks, has also raised $12 million in a Series A financing round co-led by Sequoia Capital, Goldcrest Capital, and Craft Ventures Today.
Sacks and co-founder Axel Ericsson describe Callin as a ‘social podcasting’ platform. Those who sign up can use the iOS app to find and listen to live and recorded audio content as well as make their own. The platform augments the usual podcasting streaming service with social audio. People can set up live conversations like a Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces room but combine that with podcast production.
“When I started doing the All-In Pod last year, I didn’t realize how much work a podcast could be, requiring everything from specialized equipment to hours of post-production work for every episode,” Sacks said in a statement. “Callin automates away all of that work and makes it as easy as pushing a button to create a podcast. It turns your phone into a studio for creating audio shows.”
The company began in incubation at Craft, an investor where Sacks is a founder and general partner. It’s another indicator of how audio content and social audio have become huge centers of investment and innovation over the last year or so. That’s especially the case where the two concepts can be combined as with the recently reported plan by Amazon for a live audio event platform.
Many companies are creating or extending existing platforms in this vein. Spotify’s social audio platform Greenroom, formerly known as Locker Room, is a major example, as is Discord’s new Stage Channels, which are showcasing a variety of celebrity shows and events. Clubhouse has not been slacking on exploring this aspect of social audio in new partnerships with TED Talks and the NHL, among others, as well as homegrown shows produced through the expanding Creator First programs. These events are also supported by new features like spatial audio and Backchannel texting. The direct messaging service enables users to text with each other while on the app, either one-to-one or in a group chat, without interrupting the audio discussion or requiring a different communications tool.