Wondery, the podcast network founded by former longtime Fox exec Hernan Lopez, has closed $5 million in a Series A round, led by venture-capital firms Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital.
The funding brings L.A.-based Wondery to nearly $8 million raised to date. The company was founded by Lopez in 2016 with funding from 20th Century Fox.
Other investors in the company include BAM Ventures, Water Tower Ventures, Fox Networks Group, BDMI and industry execs including Stanley Shuman, senior adviser to Allen & Co. and former director of News Corp, and MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan.
According to Lopez, Wondery will use the funding to expand its lineup of original podcasts, including “American Innovations,” “Dr. Death” and “I, Survivor,” as well as grow the audience of existing original and partner shows, including “Business Wars” and “Tides of History.”
The company also plans to hire more staff, building on its current headcount of 17 employees.
“As we enter a new golden age of audio, we couldn’t be more excited about investing in Wondery,” said Greycroft co-founder Alan Patricof. “Wondery’s creative approach, business model and management with experience in scaling businesses make it the ideal bet in the active listening space.”
Greycroft venture partner Jon Goldman is joining Wondery’s board, representing all investors. Goldman also is a general partner at GC Tracker, a seed-stage fund focused on video games, AR/VR and esports, and managing partner at Skybound, the rights-holder of entertainment franchises including “The Walking Dead.”
Also joining Wondery’s board alongside Lopez is Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Comparably and entrepreneur-in-residence with the City of Los Angeles.
“With the backing of some of the most experienced investors in media in the world, we’re looking forward to executing on a plan to become the premier destination for immersive storytelling,” said Lopez, Wondery’s CEO. He previously spent 18 years at Fox, most recently as president and CEO of Fox International Channels.
Since Wondery’s launch two years ago, the startup has notched six No. 1 podcasts include “Dirty John,” “Young Charlie,” “American History Tellers” and “Business Wars.” They’re available at Apple Podcasts and on the Wondery website.