Anchor, which provides a DIY podcast tool, announced today a funding round of $2.8 million.
The startup, which launched its app just over a year ago, claims that it has daily users in more than 200 countries — including A-list Hollywood directors and people on the sidelines of war in Syria. The Anchor app is available for iOS and Android.
“Before Anchor, my cofounder Nir and I wanted to create a podcast, but found the process to be very difficult and time-consuming,” wrote Michael Mignano, CEO of Anchor, in an email to VentureBeat. “Getting set up required confusing and expensive software. It was clear most consumers would have a hard time with the process. So, we started Anchor as a way to democratize audio creation and distribution, and make the process of broadcasting yourself as easy as snapping a photo or shooting a video.”
Users can simply create a login via the app or website to get their own station and broadcast their content. The app is free for now. Although Mignano declined to specify the startup’s current revenue model, he did say: “In the future, we may consider native advertisements read by creators, premium content, and premium tools.” He declined to share user statistics.
The chief executive considers other companies in the sector to be peers, not competitors. “Some of the other companies we’ve seen doing interesting things with audio right now are SoundCloud, Bumpers, and Pundit,” he wrote.
In addition to today’s funding news, Anchor also announced version 2.0 of its app. Users can now broadcast their voice, clip external sound bites, mix in full-length tracks from Apple Music and Spotify, take call-ins from listeners, and add musical interludes, all from their phones.
The new version also includes a clapping feature that can either be activated by gently knocking on the back of the phone or by tapping the applause button on the screen. This is currently only available for iOS but will be coming to Android very soon, the cofounders said in a statement.
For fans of voice assistants, Anchor can be activated on Amazon Echo and Google Home via Bluetooth by saying “Alexa, enable the Anchor skill,” or “OK Google, let me talk to Anchor.”
This latest round of funding was led by Accel. Existing investor Eniac Ventures, as well as new investors Chernin Group, Omidyar Network, and Mick Batyske (an American DJ and entrepreneur) also joined. Anchor has raised a total of $4.4 million to date from investors that include Questlove (of The Roots and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon). The new money will be used to expand the engineering and product teams.
Founded in 2015, Anchor is based in New York City and currently has eight employees.