Podfund now managed by investment firm TechNexus
“Every day sees humanity more victorious in the struggle with space and time.” — Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio
Throughout history, the long march of technology has continuously redefined how humans communicate, entertain themselves, and share ideas. From Gutenberg’s printing press, to Marconi’s radio, to film, TV, the internet, and mobile, technology has not only improved the way we disseminate information, but given us new and better ways to tell our stories. When technology meets content, it changes the way people experience the world.
Some of the most exciting changes we’re seeing have been in audio, where technology and platforms have unlocked entirely new forms of storytelling and interaction. Eighteen months ago, audio pioneer Jake Shapiro along with Nicola Korzenko recognized the explosion in audio and podcasting and the need for an independent entity to support new kinds of content creators. Podfund was born as the first venture company dedicated to investing in creator-led media companies leveraging audio to drive audience, brand, and revenue. Since its beginning, the portfolio grew to nineteen ventures, including many of the most recognizable audio-first studios.
Today, we are announcing TechNexus Venture Collaborative— a venture investment firm — has become the new manager Podfund. We couldn’t be more excited to take the reins.
When we first encountered Podfund (ourselves as investors) we saw an innovative vision and novel model to support the growing group of visionary studios and talented creators building the future of podcasting and media. It’s a vision we recognize because TechNexus’ business is designed to do the same thing. We’re entrepreneurs, investors, strategists and curious innovators looking to transform industries.
TechNexus started with an understanding that emerging technologies are changing the economy, a recognition that ventures would be the prime movers of that change, and a conviction that creating a better future increasingly requires deep collaboration between established corporations, ventures, and the emerging digital ecosystems. Our model is uniquely designed to foster collaborative innovation at the industry level. Over the past twelve years, we’ve partnered with dozens of corporations and hundreds of entrepreneurs to help them work together to build the products and solutions that are reinventing their industries.
We’ve worked across a wide variety of markets, but over the years we’ve found our presence in audio and media to be particularly strong. In one way or another, we’ve collaborated with many of the largest names in audio and have become one of the largest audio venture investors in the world. We’ve invested in everything from ambient audio, to broadcasting platforms, to voice control.
Over time, our thesis in audio has expanded. We see continued advances in technologies and platforms — driven by artificial intelligence, augmented reality, mobile and networking — enabling transformational capabilities in audio. We see significant change in media and entertainment, more generally, and how audio relates to that change. Perhaps most importantly, we recognize how technology and innovation are enabling fundamental changes in content itself — new forms, new ways to tell stories, and new ways for people to experience the world.
Which brings us back to Podfund. Our strategy for Podfund builds on the original model to include some new elements needed to support the next phase in the evolution of audio and media. We will continue to support creators and the new businesses and business models that surround their vision. But we will also play a stronger role working at the intersection of content and technology to support the reinvention of content forms and advance technologies supporting content discovery, distribution and commercial success. And we aim to leverage TechNexus’ model for collaborative innovation at the industry level to help accelerate and shape the growth of the industry ecosystem.
It’s a new chapter for Podfund that stays true to the original theme and, we hope, adds some powerful new throughlines.