Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile video holding company WndrCo has invested in Glow, a startup that helps creators monetize their podcasts by offering up extra content to fans in exchange for one-time or monthly payments.
WndrCo contributed to the Seattle-based company’s $2.3 million seed round, which was led by venture capital firm Greycroft and saw participation from rapper Nas, Electronic Arts CTO Ken Moss, Northwest Venture Partners, and PSL Ventures. Glow also received seed funding from D.C. investment firm Revolution through its tech startup seed fund Rise of the Rest, Variety reports.
More than 100 podcasts currently use Glow’s platform, which launched in beta in June. It hosts branded pages for each podcast and processes fans’ payments for creators, and links up directly with a number of podcast apps — including Apple Podcasts — so fans who use Glow to pay for more content have instant access on their listening app of choice.
The company was co-founded by CEO Amira Valliani, who served as an advisor in the Obama administration before moving into tech. She told Variety she was inspired to create Glow after struggling to monetize her own local news podcast. She had listeners willing to pay for more content, but couldn’t find a monetization platform that met her needs as a podcaster. Valliani made it clear that Glow isn’t out to distribute creators’ podcasts, but compared the startup to Shopify, a business that enables content creators to set up their own digital storefronts and offer products to their established fanbases.
“Glow is building a solution targeted at these hundreds of thousands of podcasters feeling the pain of this monetization gap,” she said.
“Creators have relied solely on advertising for too long, and we love the sustainable way that Glow enables podcasters to thrive in this incredibly fast-growing media category,” Alan Patricof, founder and managing director of round leader Greycroft, added in a statement.
The company told Variety that in the future, it plans to develop “richer and deeper” tools to continue expanding podcast creators’ monetization options.