Former A + E Networks director Andrew Kuo and former New York Times director Kareem Rahma have started a podcast company to multiply stories by and about people of color in the audio industry.
The pair launched SomeFriends, which is backed by investors including Hyphen Capital, media veteran Sean Cohan; James Cole, Jr., AIG Board Member and CEO of the Jasco Group; and Jennifer Fitzgerald, co-founder and CEO of Policygenius
They hope the company will be a hotbed for original and immersive storytelling, providing underrepresented voices a platform to tell their stories.
The company is currently in production on a number of original podcasts, both fictional and non-fiction formats, which span a variety of genres – from comedy to thriller, autobiographical tales and sci-fi.
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His list of upcoming projects includes creators behind popular TV shows, including Abdullah Saeed, a Pakistani-American writer who starred and wrote in HBO’s hit comedy. High maintenance, Mamoudou N’Diaye, a Mauritanian-American Muslim writer and comedian who wrote for Netflix Space force, and Korean-American writer Sarah Cho, who is currently working on the Hulu drama The Daughter of Plainville.
SomeFriends already has partnerships with First Look Media’s Topic streaming service, QCODE Media, SALT and doc studio XTR.
“As podcasts continue to solidify their position as the premier entertainment medium, it is imperative to amplify the stories and voices that accurately reflect the diverse makeup of our country,” said Andrew Kuo, co-founder and CEO of SomeFriends. “We celebrate our differences and unique perspectives to tell authentic stories that appeal to audiences everywhere. “
“One of the main reasons I started Hyphen Capital was to change the talk about Asian American founders,” said Dave Lu, Managing Partner at Hyphen Capital. “We invested in SomeFriends because they are building a platform for under-represented voices to be heard, which is what the entertainment industry needs right now. By creating content that represents the perspectives of people of color, audiences can see themselves and that’s extremely powerful.
“We’re excited to partner with incredible talent and bring their stories to life. We know this talent pool is rich and eager for a home that will support their creativity, ”added Kareem Rahma, Co-Founder and Creative Director, SomeFriends. “Putting authentic voices at the helm of these podcasts is paramount in delivering entertaining stories and we look forward to using our storytelling to build community over time. “