More VC Steams Into PodShow

I have been a skeptic of venture capital involvement with podcasting companies since day one, even if day one wasn’t all that long ago. I just struggle to see venture-type ROI for most of these deals, unless they can be flipped before Yahoo, Google, etc. put down their tall glasses of content Kool-Aid. This isn’t to say that the podcasting market is inherently unprofitable, because it isn’t. VC-backed companies, however, are supposed to produce something a bit more exciting than respectable margins. 

Some VCs agree with me, but it is clear that many others do not. Case in point is PodShow inc., which recently raised $15 million in Series B funding. This follows up on an $8.85 million Series A deal from last summer, from Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, Ram Shiram and Jerry Newman. All four are back this time around, but an undisclosed lead came aboard at a major pre-money valuation step-up. I know lots of firms that it isn’t – NEA, Oak, Spark, Greylock, etc. – but that is only useful if there was a narrower market of potential backers.

 

Rumors had been floating around the DEMO conference that this deal might get even larger, but Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins assures me that $15 million is all for now. He also acknowledges that PodShow has become a bit of a VC bellwether for the podcasting market, as its original funding was soon followed by deals for companies like Odeo and Podtech.net. In other words, expect additional podcasting deals to come down the pike shortly. Be interesting to see when the first exits occur…