CarGlass Raises $3M Seed Funding to Expand Its Podcast and News Discovery Platform
This vote of confidence underscores CarGlass’ recent innovations in curating spoken-word content
San Francisco, CA — January 29, 2016 — CarGlass, a San Francisco-based technology company dedicated to connecting drivers to content and information safely and intelligently, received a $3M vote of confidence from Byron Asset Management, Morning Crest Capital and two other family offices actively investing in the digital media and connected car spaces. The startup will use its seed funding for new hires, product development and delivering its service to the more than 132 million U.S. commuters.
Otto Radio, CarGlass’ debut product, provides personalized playlists of news and podcasts based on user’s interests and length of commute. Available immediately, TryPod™, Otto’s new podcast sampling feature, will significantly enhance user’s ability to quickly discover more podcasts in less time.
TryPod™ samples the first three minutes of podcasts before giving the listener the choice to extend or simply go on to the next one. And by leveraging Otto Radio’s recommendation system, users will hear more podcasts they are likely to enjoy, but might not know about.
Co-founder and CEO Stanley Yuan decided to tackle podcast discovery after struggling to manually curate podcasts for his daily commute.
“It was a time consuming, frustrating process trying to assemble a daily playlist of interesting talk shows, interviews and programs for my hour commute between San Francisco and Palo Alto,” recalls Stanley. “To make the most of my drive, I’d have to spend time the night before combing through shows like Charlie Rose, Bloomberg Business and Khan Academy. If I forgot to prepare my playlist, I would end up listening to random podcast episodes or mindlessly surf the channels on satellite radio.”
“With such good recommendation engines for text, music and video, there simply wasn’t a robust discovery platform for spoken word that truly understands the user’s interests and listening habits. Given the sheer number of good podcasts that get produced each day and the 100 million hours Americans spend commuting daily, it just made sense to create a personalized app to meet this demand.”
Initially launched on October 5, 2015, Otto Radio has served up almost 400,000 news stories and podcasts and is one of the fastest-growing News app on the Apple App Store. Currently available on iOS, an Android version of the app is scheduled for release in Q2 of this year.
For a more in-depth look at the development and design challenges of Otto Radio’s podcast discovery platform, check out “Discovering More Podcasts You’ll Love.”
About CarGlass, Inc.: Founded in 2014, CarGlass’ mission is to connect every driver to the content and information they want — intelligently and safely. CarGlass is built on the idea that your digital lifestyle can be safely extended to your car, and the many hours you spend behind the wheel can be transformed into an opportunity to learn, be entertained and stay informed. Learn more about CarGlass at www.carglassapp.com.