Dear Media, the female-inclined podcast network co-founded by one of the masterminds behind digital talent firm Digital Brand Architects (DBA), has landed serious funding.
Dear Media has raised $8 million in a Series A round from Magnet Companies, a private equity firm founded by media and tech vets Jeff Berman, Betsy Morgan, and former AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier. Funds will be harnessed to grow Dear Media’s talent roster and develop original IP. Dear Media will also use the new capital to invest in early-stage, direct-to-consumer (DTC) product companies that will leverage the Dear Media pod network as a marketing vehicle.
Dear Media — which helps creators with podcast conception, editorial, production, distribution, and monetization — is home to myriad lifestyle creators, including: Lauryn Evarts, Jackie Schimmel, Wendy Lopez, Jessica Jones, Jill Dunn, Carlene Higgins, Whitney Port, Gaby Dalkin (pictured above), Lauren McGoodwin, Heather McMahan, and Gabby Reece. Shows are focused on career development, parenting, health and wellness, comedy, sex and relationships, and activism and advocacy.
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The network’s 40 shows have been downloaded 150 million times, with hosts who count more than 25 million followers across all of their social media channels. Dear Media has worked with advertisers like Linkedin, Microsoft, Ulta, and Sephora on long-term relationships that have resulted in six to seven-figure deals for talent, it says. The fresh funding will enable Dear Media to diversify its advertising portfolio even further, including the pursuit of more DTC players.
Dear Media was founded in 2018 by DBA founder Raina Penchansky and the entrepreneur Michael Bosstick. While DBA was acquired by talent giant UTA last February, Dear Media operates as an independent entity. Given its affiliations, however, the funding will allow Dear Media to hone talent collabs with the aforementioned agencies.
“The podcast medium has been in need of an update for a long time. Not only in the voices that are represented, but in the way those voices are able to engage in this space,” Bosstick said in a statement. “Before Dear Media was established these voices had been underrepresented and underutilized…This investment will help us meet the strong demand we’ve seen from audiences for our programming to develop new business models that we believe are the future of audio and commerce.”