Blue Wire, a sports podcast company, has raised $ 5 million in its Series A, founder Kevin Jones told Axios.
Why is this important: The company, which focuses on long-running sports narrative podcasts and conversational podcasts, now hosts more than 140 podcasts with more than 20 million downloads for the year. It has $ 1.5 million in 2020 revenue through sponsorship partnerships through brands like Chevy and Visa.
Details: The round is led by Dot Capital, which led its $ 1.2 million round in February. Dot is joined by Bettor Capital, Side Door Ventures and Forty5 Ventures.
- “Over the past 10 months, Kevin has achieved everything he said he was going to deliver,” said Joe Saviano, Managing Director of Dot Capital. “When someone does that, you reward them.”
The money will be used for hire a management team and bring in editorial talent. He is actively seeking to fill COO and CMO positions.
- Blue Wire focuses specifically on showcasing minority and female voices in sport.
- 35% of its podcasters are people of color. Sports media and sports audio are predominantly white and male.
- “I was inspired by Blue Wire’s ambitions to move away from mainstream sports media,” says Haley O’Shaughnessy, who joined Blue Wire from The Ringer and noted the company’s focus on providing a platform for women in the media.
The money will also be used to build company studio and to fund the creation of an annual list of 8-10 original podcast series.
- The company is working with the United Talent Agency to present some of its original long-running film and television option podcasts, including its hit original series. American prodigy, which Jones says has caught the attention of Hollywood studios and literary agents.
- “Podcasting is fast becoming the new books,” Jones says. “We’re going to be looking at this unlike anyone else in the sport right now.”
The bottom line: Sports audio as a whole is booming, but there is still no perfect place for most athletes, professional teams and sports media personalities to create and monetize their own high-quality audio content. .