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Spotify buys tech startup whose backers include Katie Couric and Paris Hilton

Spotify said Friday that it has acquired Podz, a tech startup backed by the likes of Katie Couric and Paris Hilton.

According to the Swedish music streaming giant, Podz will help the company “accelerate” its growing podcast business through its machine-learning algorithms, which help users easily discover content they want to listen to. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Powered by state-of-the-art machine learning technology, Podz generates high-quality clips that give users the opportunity to preview key moments from podcast episodes, encouraging them to discover and listen to new podcasts,” Spotify said.

Podz’ tech is expected to be integrated into Spotify’s network of over 2.6 million podcasts before the end of the year.

Spotify has beefed up its podcast offering within the last two years, inking multi-million-dollar deals for podcasts from Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian and sportscaster Bill Simmons, among others.

New York-based Podz was founded by tech entrepreneur Bruce Imbruce in January 2020. The 10-employee company raisef $2.5 million in seed funding.

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is an early investor in Podz.
Getty Images

The seed round was led by venture-capital firm M13 along with Canaan Partners, Charge Ventures and Humbition, as well as investments from Katie Couric, Paris Hilton, and journalist Mara Schiavocampo, Variety reported in February.  

Katie Couric
Katie Couric became an investor in New York-based Podz in February.
Getty Images for MAKERS

“We believe that Podz’s technology will complement and accelerate Spotify’s focused efforts to drive discovery, deliver listeners the right content at the right time, and accelerate growth of the category worldwide,” Spotify said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

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