Personalized Internet radio provider Stitcher raises $10 million

by Morgan Phelps

In an effort to further bring radio into the 21st century, web-based personalized radio provider Stitcher also available for iPhone) has secured $10 million in Series C funding, thanks to New Enterprise Associates, Benchmark Capital, New Atlantic Ventures and others. The company has now gathered a total investment of $18.7 million in three rounds of funding.

Rather than turn to individual streaming apps of content providers such as CNN and NPR, this free app, available on Android iPhone, BlackBerry and Palm devices, gives users the opportunity to use one central hub to switch between many different programs. Talk, sports, news, entertainment and comedy radio programs are all available on the app, giving users a radio stream on-the-go that does not require additional updates or syncing. Through Stitcher, radio programs are updated automatically and continuously with the most recent episodes and content.

“Stitcher has created for talk radio what Pandora, Spotify, and others have built for music,” said Ravi Viswanathan, general partner at NEA, who will join the company’s board of directors. “They've made it personalized; they've made it mobile; and they've made it available when and where people want it.” He noted that talk programming in terrestrial radio has spurred a $5 billion advertising market, meaning there is a tremendous opportunity on which to capitalize when it comes to mobile talk radio.

The company plans to use the latest funding to expand its workforce, boost product development and enhance partnerships with content providers, allowing it to expand beyond the more than 6,000 different shows it already streams.