Stories: Leading podcast company Acast lands EIB financing
European Innovation Council pilot's funded podcast company Acast secures a 25 million € quasi-equity financing agreement with the European Investment Bank. As well as independent podcasts, Acast also looks after the audio content of larger publishers, such as the Financial Times, the Guardian, Vogue, Aftonbladet and Billboard.
Acast will use the financing to expand its research and development activities and to further develop its audio content distribution platform. A part of the project costs will go into supporting its international market expansion.
“The EIB’s investment and support of Acast is a true milestone in our company's growth as well as in the future of the global podcasting infrastructure. Today, we are one step closer to our goal of seeking out and supporting all the audio storytellers of the world - giving their stories the audience they deserve,” said Leandro Saucedo, Chief Business Officer of Acast.
The EIB financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan.The peculiarity of the ‘quasi equity’ financing, which the EIB is only able to support with the backing of the Juncker Plan, is that it has the characteristics of an equity stake in the company, yet does not translate into the EIB owning shares in Acast. This type of financing addresses a market failure for non-dilutive growth capital for European businesses: providing equity without affecting the ownership of the company.
European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The main motivation for creating the Juncker Plan was to provide alternative sources of financing to innovative companies in need of financial support that struggled to obtain a traditional bank loan, and as a result to boost jobs, growth and investment in the EU. Today’s agreement between the EIB and Acast does exactly that, and it does so using a novel form of financing. I wish the company every success with its expansion plans.”
EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb, added: “Everyone loves a good podcast, but it can be hard to make a living off of this type of infotainment. I think it’s important that a European provider for this type of service exists, which gives all voices the possibility to be heard. Acast truly serves as a one-stop-shop for listeners, creators and advertisers, and we’re happy to support the company in its expansion.”
Founded in 2014, Acast is currently the world’s largest podcast company. Since 2014, Acast has been the engine powering audio for makers all over the world. At its core, Acast connects audio makers with the financial support they need to create amazing content while also delivering the audience they want. Acast works with podcasts globally including My Dad Wrote a Porno, Off Menu, David Tennant Does A Podcast With, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Sanspants Radio, Alice & Bianca, Watch What Crappens and Varvet as well as those of publishers such as the Times, the Economist, Guardian, VICE and Vogue.
As a global business, Acast has offices around the world from Stockholm to Sydney and a team of 100 talented audio lovers working diligently to create a sustainable audio and voice ecosystem to ensure that the audio industry continues to grow and flourish. Acast was founded by Karl Rosander and Mans Ulvestam together with co-founder Johan Billgren.
The company received a Phase 2 grant from the EIC SME Instrument program in 2017 of 2.220.313 €.
View Acast's information on the EIC SME Instrument data hub.