By Benjamin Mullin and Anne Steele
Amazon.com Inc. is in exclusive talks to purchase podcast startup Wondery, according to people familiar with the matter, as the tech giant pushes further into the growing audio sector.
The talks value Wondery over $300 million, the people said. Wondery's last funding round, in June 2019, valued the company at $100 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company is on track to increase revenue to more than $40 million this year, according one person familiar with the matter, with about 75% of that coming from advertising and the rest from licensing to TV, subscription services like Audible and Stitcher Premium, and Wondery's own premium subscription service, which launched this summer.
The deal talks are ongoing and negotiations could still fall apart, the people said.
Closely held Wondery is the last large independent podcaster on the market -- and could present the final opportunity for a major tech or media giant to buy its way into the exploding field. Wondery's investors include venture-capital firms such as Waverley Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Advancit Capital.
Several other podcast startups have been acquired in recent years by major players in the tech and media sectors. Gimlet Media, a maker of narrative podcasts, was acquired by Spotify Technology SA in 2019 for more than $200 million. New York Times Co. in July said it would acquire Serial Productions, maker of the hit podcast "Serial," in a deal that could be worth as much as $50 million depending on milestones and performance metrics, The Wall Street Journal reported.
(More to Come)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 02, 2020 13:15 ET (18:15 GMT)Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.