Podcast Media Studio, QCODE, Raises $6.4 Million in Series a Funding Round, Led by Sonos
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–QCODE, a premium content studio and podcast network, announced today that it has raised $6.4 million in a Series A funding round, led by Sonos (Nasdaq: SONO) with participation by C Ventures. Ryan Taylor, General Manager of Sonos Radio, will join the QCODE Board of Directors.
Launched in late 2019, QCODE has quickly become the leading destination for scripted fiction and immersive storytelling in the podcast space.The company has released eight scripted podcasts, all of which have been No.1 in the fiction category and top 10 overall on the Apple Podcast Chart. QCODE has found a savvy and sustainable podcasting model of adapting nearly all of its series led by A-list talent for TV or film. With the additional investment, the company plans to scale up to more than 15 originals per year across a variety of different genres and through partnerships with other talent, production and media companies.
“We started QCODE as a world class audio platform to give more autonomy to creators and artists in building new and original stories,” said Rob Herting, CEO and founder of QCODE. “From the beginning, we’ve been committed to delivering a great listening experience which makes Sonos a perfect fit with QCODE. We cannot wait to build our next round of innovative, immersive audio-story experiences.”
“As a long-time partner of QCODE, our alignment began with a belief that great sound is one of the linchpins of creating great content and capturing listener attention,” said Ryan Taylor, General Manager, Sonos Radio. “In addition, we admire the uniqueness in which QCODE has rethought the model to partner with artists and creators in a meaningful way and the benefit of creating exceptional content. We look forward to supporting and learning with QCODE as they further their mission to deliver immersive storytelling in the podcast space.”
“We are excited to partner with QCODE and tap into our global ecosystem to help expand the reach of its original and compelling fictional audio content,” said Adrian Cheng, co-founding partner of C Ventures, “We believe that storytelling enriches our imagination, creates unique experiences and unifies our culture which QCODE has mastered and we look forward to joining them on this journey.”
Working closely with writers and creators, QCODE’s unique model invests its creative partners in the underlying intellectual property and engages with them on adaptation into other mediums. Writers and creators are attached to the film and television adaptations and the lead voice talent have a producer credit in the podcast and resulting adaptations. Recent examples of shows that have been picked up for adaptation include DIRTY DIANA from Shana Feste starring Demi Moore and THE LEFT RIGHT GAME from Jack Anderson starring Tessa Thompson, among others. QCODE’s first and second shows, BLACKOUT and CARRIER, swept the fiction category awards, winning Apple Podcasts’ “Best Fiction” category, iHeartradio’s “Best Fiction” category and The Webby for “Best Scripted Fiction” in 2019.
QCODE is a new podcast and media studio launched in 2019 by former Creative Artists Agency agent Rob Herting in partnership with production company Automatik and management firm Grandview. The company is focused on working with creators to originate and innovate stories in the audio format that have the potential to grow and be adapted in other mediums, including television series and feature films. QCODE developed and produced its first series, BLACKOUT, which stars Rami Malek and was featured as one of Apple’s “10 Best Podcasts So Far in 2019” and won the “Best Fiction Podcast of the Year” at the iHeartRadio Podcast awards. QCODE’s second original series, CARRIER, is an immersive first person POV fiction thriller which stars Tony and Grammy winner Cynthia Erivo. In 2019, CARRIER was featured by Esquire as one of “The Best Podcasts of 2019” and was named Apple Podcast’s “Best Fiction Show of the Year.” The series is due to be adapted into a feature film by Amblin entertainment. QCODE next premiered THE EDGE OF SLEEP which stars YouTube creator Mark Fischbach aka “Markiplier.” The show is released under QCODE’s new Wood Elf label, which focuses on matching digital creators with original narrative genre podcasts. In 2020, QCODE premiered the series THE LEFT RIGHT GAME, produced by and starring TESSA THOMPSON, which was acquired by Amazon to be adapted for TV; the thriller series BORRASCA, produced by and starring Cole Sprouse (“Riverdale,” Five Feet Apart); the erotic scripted drama DIRTY DIANA, produced by and starring Demi Moore; and HANK THE COWDOG based off the popular children’s books, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, which took the No. 1 spot on Apple Podcasts’ Kids & Family chart in its debut week.
Sonos (Nasdaq: SONO) is one of the world’s leading sound experience brands. As the inventor of multi-room wireless home audio, Sonos innovation helps the world listen better by giving people access to the content they love and allowing them to control it however and wherever they choose. Known for delivering an unparalleled sound experience, thoughtful design aesthetic, simplicity of use, and an open platform, Sonos makes the breadth of audio content available to anyone. Sonos is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Learn more at www.sonos.com.
About C Ventures
Co-founded by Adrian Cheng, a globally well-known investor and entrepreneur and Clive Ng, a notable media and financier executive, C Ventures is a leading venture capital company curating a cultural ecosystem targeting millennials and the Generation Z with a focus on business in lifestyle and technology. As a global venture capital. C Ventures is well positioned to integrate the West and the East and is committed to helping its portfolio companies with sustainable development both online and offline.