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A Louisville startup that hopes to become the IMDb for podcasts has exceeded its recent goal to raise $500,000 from investors.

Podchaser CEO Bradley Davis told Insider Louisville that the company plans to use the funds primarily for growth and to finish development of some critical features over the summer.

Podchaser uses podcast episode reviews and other data generated by users — more than 10,000 at this point — to help listeners find good content.

The company last month completed a seed round, led by Louisville-based investors including attorney Ed Glasscock, angel investor Matt Luckett and entrepreneur Gill Holland. Podchaser also received support from the Kentucky Enterprise Fund, a state-sponsored source of seed capital for technology startups.

Davis told Insider that the idea for the business originated from a Reddit post in which he asked where he could find a database for podcast episode reviews.

While podcasts get reviews, individual episodes do not, which, Davis said, makes it “kind of difficult to find good content.”

For example, if you listen to a podcast interview with Gill Holland, and you want to find out on what other podcasts he’s appeared, you’d have a tough time.

Bradley Davis, founder of Podchaser.

When no one on Reddit provided a satisfactory answer to his query 18 months ago, Davis and others in the forum decided to create their own database and, eventually, a business.

“We’re the only service that provides episode-level rating,” Davis said.

Podchaser already has a library of more than 18 million podcast episodes and a search engine that allows users to filter episodes by ratings and user tags.

Davis envisions Podchaser as a source that helps users find content based on narrow criteria, not just host or guest but also by podcast length or area of origin. All of that data will be generated by users.

The company is working with ever more apps — Player FM, RadioPublic, Podible — to allow podcast listeners to use Podchaser’s ratings feature.

Podchaser likely will remain in beta testing, but with high functionality, until the developers have added additional features such as the ability to create and share customized lists of good podcast episodes. The additional funding should help the company expand the feature set more quickly, Davis said.

The user-generated data is the business’ most valuable long-term asset. Davis said IMDb has no competitor in part because it began early and now has so much user-generated data that any potential rival would have a tough time catching up.

Podchaser plans to generate revenue from advertisements and users who pay a premium to obtain data about who is listening and how often, Davis said. The data eventually also will allow podcasters to target listeners with much greater accuracy. More than 2,000 podcast creators already have registered on Podchaser.

Davis said the company’s successful seed round is encouraging news for Louisville’s startup scene and indicates that the community is moving in the right direction when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs.

Davis’ favorite podcasts: S-Town and Long Distance, parts I and II

Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.


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