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Benchmark Capital, New Atlantic Ventures, Ed Scott and Ron Conway betting on SF startupStitcher, a startup which lets users stream talk radio podcasts to their mobile devices, has raised $6 million in Series B funding. Benchmark Capital led the round with participation from previous investors including New Atlantic Ventures, Ed Scott and Ron Conway. The company raised a Series A round of $2.7 million back in 2008.
The San Francisco-based company has a pretty useful product which enables you to stream the plethora of online news podcasts to your smartphone.
Stitcher functions similar to Pandora but isn't at all focused on music. Unlike Pandora, Stitcher delivers news podcasts to your cellphone. It lets a users choose one of their favorite news podcasts, and then "stitches" these together to create a sort of seemless radio experience with ads in between. Like Pandora, Stitcher also throws in some other podcasts it thinks you may like based on the podcasts you've already chosen. Unlike Pandora though, Stitcher doesn't really get old, since news podcasts are updated on a regular basis and music really isn't. I've found repeated songs coming up plenty of times while listening to my Pandora stations.
Some of Stitcher's featured partners include, Fox Headline News, NPR's Fresh Air, TechCrunch Headlines, Onion Radio News and E!'s Hollywood Rap Up, although there are thousands of sources available through the platform.
For users, Stitcher is offered as a free service, thus the company has a couple avenues it can monetize from. One is by offering content providers prime placement. The other is of course by selling advertisement spots similar to Pandora's model. Stitcher can offer targeted ads to a niche audience of listeners who pay for data plans and target those ads geared on the type of news they are listening to.
Right now, Stitcher is available on the major smartphones- iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm. Also, at CES, Ford announced in car app functionality and among the first apps it would support was Stitcher, along with Pandora and Twitter.
Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher commented in a press release, "Benchmark's funding, combined with Bob's guidance, will help us continue to take advantage of the growing market for mobile content distribution."
Stitcher said it would used the funds to further its product and platform development.
We've reached out to Stitcher to get some more details on the round, but are still awaiting a response.
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