Why we invested in Podcastle

Published on
February 5, 2024
Simon Levene
Why we invested in Podcastle

If ever you’ve attempted to create long form audio/video in the past you would know there is a very big gap between “good enough” — crafted on your phone or with a basic desktop editor — and the more polished content produced by a “professional”.

Creator-driven content is exploding, and represents a growing share of the audio and video that we all consume. At Mosaic, we are convinced this wave is going to be accelerated by AI-generated and AI-augmented content. Today, there are 4M new videos added daily on YouTube, 34M added on TikTok (!) – and millions more clips added to social platforms such as Instagram and Snap. We also believe the barriers to developing high quality long-form video are going to disappear, and millions of new creators now have the ability to publish engaging and professional visual media. 

From hobbyists to professionals, producing audiovisual content still requires a patchwork of point solutions which often require domain expertise. Alongside these tools, freelancers are regularly employed to apply high-end finishing touches (e.g. audio mastering).

As previewed in an earlier post on the creator economy, we have a thesis about the untapped ‘picks and shovels’ opportunity in this market. The incumbent tooling leaders (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud) are largely legacy tech, creating an opportunity for a challenger. When we first met Podcastle, what we imagined was a plausible “Figma for audio and video content”. A successful disruptor would need to be cloud-based with a consumerized front-end, natively support collaboration and leverage AI to automate and enhance the end-to-end production process. We believe Podcastle is this product….and we are excited to bet on them to become a category leader in this space.

Podcastle’s end-to-end collaboration suite

Podcastle is an AI-first application that helps users create audio and video content without the steep learning curve for users - it offers unmatched simplicity. There is a free version (to support customer acquisition), and premium plans that unlock the full AI suite. From planning to recording, editing and hosting, users can produce near-professional output, in the  browser. Podcastle’s ease-of-use and AI production “superpowers'' have delighted over 1 million customers already. Their customer focus has expanded beyond individual creators to include corporate teams creating marketing, learning and internal comms content. As a response to customer requests, Podcastle has also added multi-user features to enable cross-team collaboration. The enthusiastic reviews from their customers, strong retention / churn metrics and organic growth were important factors in our decision to invest.

Podcastle's collaborative audio editor in action

Why now?

The availability of new AI models is transforming the modern process of content creation. GenAI shortens the time required to get to a great output and allows creators to punch above their weight. No more re-recording, expensive external service providers for audio mastering, or prior knowledge of sound recording tech are needed. The company’s in-house AI models do the heavy lifting.

An outstanding founder & founder/market fit

Arto Yertisyan, the founder of Podcastle, is a product-builder at heart with a natural instinct for translating customers’ desires into a beautiful product experience. He designed the first version of Podcastle to scratch his own itch. The longtime VP Engineering at Picsart, Podcastle is the continuation of Arto’s mission to build the next generation of creative software. Supported by a very talented and experienced development team in his native Armenia and a growing commercial team in the US, we believe they have a real shot to make a dent in the future of long-form content creation.

We’re thrilled to be investing alongside Point Nine, RTP, Sierra and Andrew Ng’s AI Fund, as well as founders including René Rechtman (Moonbug).

Podcastle’s “content superpowers for all” is the logical next step in the evolution of tooling for the creator economy. We look forward to supporting Arto and his team to realize their ambitious vision.