Kraft Group Backs Online Talk-Radio Platform

6/26/08Follow @wroush

The Kraft Group in Foxborough, MA—which not only owns the New England Patriots but invests heavily in technology ventures such as the Matchmine recommendation engine and the Patriots’ own media-rich website—is the lead investor in a $4.6 million Series A funding round announced yesterday for New York-based social media site BlogTalkRadio.

BlogTalkRadio’s Web-based software allows users to conduct their own free, live, call-in talk shows. The shows are also automatically archived and published as podcasts. The company says that 3.2 million people listened to its shows in May, and that users launch 400 new shows every day.

“This round of financing further validates BlogTalkRadio as a powerful, new platform,” Alan Levy, CEO and co-founder of BlogTalkRadio, said in a statement. “Given the broad number of opportunities our platform presents to marketers and advertisers, and those who are already using BlogTalkRadio, such as Sun Microsystems, Hachette Book Group, J. Wiley and Sons, Intel and the Department of Defense, we believe this is the right time to strengthen our capital base.”

Former hedge fund manager Scott Sipprelle and other private investor joined the financing round, which the company says it will use to hire sales and marketing staff, strengthen brand awareness, and develop new content.

In a post yesterday, New York Times blogger Brad Stone used BlogTalkRadio’s own platform to interview Levy. “What blogs have done to newspapers and magazines, I think companies like BlogTalkRadio can do to talk radio,” Levy told Stone.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://bottomline-radio.com Boston Patriot

    This is great news; it represents a further disintermediation of Mass Media business/agenda models. In the interest of full disclosure, I host a show on this network at: http://blogtalkradio.com/patriotgames

  • Johnny

    Hey, did you hear the rumor that a Boston area investment firm has conrol over 30% of the Oakland Raiders and intends to move them, if they can get Al Davis to sell even more? I bet the NFL would love it! Boston finally sticking it to the Raiders…..getting Moss and Jordan from the Radahs doesn’t feel as good as seeing them crumble under a new ownership that will relocate them from Oakland, ha ha. I bet Robert Kraft and the guys can’t wait for the fire sale maybe the investment group and the Krafts know each other.