Social Audio Startup Wisdom Raises $2M
British social audio app developer Wisdom has raised £1.5 million, about $2 million, in a seed funding round led by First Round Capital. The startup’s social audio app launched for iOS in October, centering on connecting people for mentorship and advice. The burgeoning social audio arena and Wisdom’s angle helped it garner enough users to spark investor interest even as social audio’s long-term picture remains uncertain.
Wisdom offers one-on-one conversations with mentors, as well as recorded talks sharing life advice and other insights from the mentors on the platform. Wisdom claims more than 15,000 people have joined the Wisdom iOS app. Listeners have played more than 2.3 million minutes of the more than 600,000 minutes of advice dispensed by mentors on topics ranging from social media etiquette to daily mindfulness. Podcasters are apparently particularly interested in the grassroots connections they can form with potential audience members, according to Wisdom. Celebrities like actor James Marsters, baseball star Andre Dawson, and musician Kenny G have all used the app to share their thoughts and experiences.
“Picking up on some major trends, from social audio to algorithm-friendly design – while reflecting how powerful and impactful communities with a range of voices can be – Wisdom helps bring diverse and overlooked people access to quality mentorship,” First Capital said in a statement. “So far, only the ‘cocktail-party format’ of Clubhouse has gained widespread traction, but we think ultimately that format will be one of a number of interesting social audio format. Wisdom’s format with intimate 1:1 conversations broadcast to many listeners and its timer to keep the conversation moving make it stand out within the social audio category.”
The replay and podcast angle is starting to catch on with some of the more prominent players in social audio. Clubhouse recently made it so hosts can record and share the whole experience of their room, both audio and visual. Twitter Spaces has already added the Spaces Recording feature to spread the entire conversation from a room in a single tweet, and Facebook’s new social audio experiments are exploring along similar lines. To keep up, Wisdom earmarked its new investment for developing and implementing new features to encourage more community engagement and improve the service. That includes direct messaging, monetization for mentors, and better search and discovery algorithms. The startup will also expand to Android in the next few months.
“The funding and expertise of our new investors will enable us to nurture and grow this extraordinary community,” Wisdom founder Dayo Akinrinade said in a statement.