HipChat founders launch Swoot, a social podcast app

TechCrunch | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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Pete Curley and Garret Heaton, who previously co-founded team chat app HipChat and sold it to Atlassian, are officially launching their new product Swoot today. The app makes it easy for users to recommend podcasts and see what their friends are listening to.

This might seem like a big leap from selling enterprise software — and indeed, Curley said the company was initially focused to creating another set of team collaboration tools.

HipChat - Consumer - Product - Company - Employees

What they realized, however, was that HipChat is “actually a consumer product that the company just happens to pay for because the employees demand it” — and he said they weren’t terribly interested in trying to build a business around a more traditional “top-down sales process.”

Meanwhile, Curley said he’d injured his back while lowering one of his children into a crib, which meant that for months, his only form of exercise was walking. He recalled walking around for hours each day and, for the first time, listening to podcasts.

Way - Times - Everyone - Web - Content

“I was actually way behind the times,” he said. “I didn’t know this, that everyone else was listening to them … This is like the dark web of content.”

The startup has already raised a $3 million seed funding round led by True Ventures .

Pete - Garret - Product - Experience - Businesses

“Pete and Garret both have incredible product and entrepreneurial experience, plus they have built successful businesses together in the past,” said True Ventures co-founder Jon Callaghan in a statement. “Their focus of solving the disjointed podcast listening experience through Swoot’s elegant design fills a clear gap in media discovery.”

Discovery — namely, finding new podcasts beyond the handful that you already subscribe to — is one of the biggest issues in podcasting right now. It’s something a number of companies are trying to solve, but in Curley’s view, the key is to make the listening experience more social.

He noted that...
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