Historically, podcasts have been aimed at consumers. The value to be gained in the B2B world is something that has been largely untapped.
For Lindsay Tjepkema -- who has been entrenched in the world of B2B marketing for more than 15 years -- the opportunity was massive. So in 2019, she founded Casted, an audio and video podcast product aimed at B2B marketers.
And now Casted has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Revolution Ventures.
Existing backers High Alpha Capital, Elevate Ventures and Tappan Hill Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings Indianapolis-based Casted’s total raised to about $9.3 million since its inception.
2020 was a good year for Casted. The startup quadrupled its revenue, tripled its customer base and doubled the size of its team during the course of the 12-month period. It has an impressive list of customers, including PayPal, HubSpot, Drift and ZoomInfo. Casted’s platform is also “the system of record” for Salesforce’s 25+ podcasting shows.
And to make things even more impressive, that revenue growth looks more like 8x year over year, according to Tjepkema.
She believes the company’s value prop goes beyond just giving companies a way to get their podcasts out there. Its ability to analyze data and turn that into intelligence for sales and marketing is what really sets it apart, she said.
“If you're a podcaster, and you're doing it to grow a large audience, monetize and sell advertising, the number of downloads is important,” Tjepkema told TechCrunch. “But when you're a B2B company or an enterprise company, the number of downloads doesn't help. You need to know who's engaged, how are people interacting with the content and then how is that going to impact revenue and pipeline, and customer loyalty and lifetime value.”
For starters, Casted’s SaaS platform gives marketing teams a way to publish content. Once published, Casted provides access to a “fully searchable content archive” with transcription services and tagging. It then also helps the company amplify that content via cross-channel distribution. And finally -- largely by integrating with digital marketing platforms such as HubSpot, WordPress and Marketo -- Casted’s software provides analytics on what a specific user is paying attention to. Those data-driven analytics becomes valuable information for sales and marketing teams in terms of who to target and why.
“Because everything that's in the platform is transcribed, there are ways to clip it up and share it across other channels and get that into the hands of your sales team so they can use it to make their conversations with their customers even easier,” Tjepkema said.
Revolution Ventures Managing Partner David Golden said that marketing technology has been a difficult sector for his firm to invest in, considering the volume of companies providing a variety of services such as email optimization and sales automation and business intelligence.
“But what Lindsay and her team was building out was clearly a new category in this space and the sort of slap-your-forehead category. Of course, podcasting for B2B marketing makes all the sense in the world when you look at the evolution of tools that have been available to business marketers, such as blogs, white papers and webinars,” Golden told TechCrunch. “It was just going to be a matter of time before audio and video would be important pieces of that toolbox, and there was nobody doing it.”
Revolution estimates that B2B content makes up roughly just 15% of the podcasting content out there today.
“Given the growth on the consumer side, we think this could be up to a $20 billion market by five years from now,” Golden said.
The company, he added, is just one of a growing number of martech companies based in Indianapolis, including ExactTarget (which was acquired by Salesforce for $2.5 billion).
Looking ahead, Casted said the new capital will go toward expanding its 25-person team and scaling the platform with new integrations and partnerships.