Oct 24, 2023 - Economy

Hispanic media company Sonoro raises $12.5M

Sonoro co-founders Gerónimo Ávila, Camila Victoriano and Josh Weinstein. Photo: Courtesy of Sonoro

Hispanic media company Sonoro has raised $12.5 million in venture funding, its co-founders Camila Victoriano and Josh Weinstein exclusively tell Axios.

Why it matters: Funding for Hispanic media companies has historically lagged in the U.S., but it's starting to increase amid a demographic boom.

Details: The company, which launched in March 2020, has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Lerer Hippeau, followed by a $6 million Series A round in 2021 and a $3.5 million Series A extension this year.

  • Additional investors include Founder Collective, Greycroft, Correlation Ventures, Clerisy, RiverPark Ventures and UTA Ventures.
  • Weinstein and Victoriano co-founded the company along with Gerónimo Ávila.

How it works: Sonoro's goal is to produce a wide number of audio projects that it can then test and iterate for future franchises in TV and film. The model ensures that all content is monetized, regardless of whether or not it's premium.

  • Some hits, like its "Princess of South Beach" podcast, have become optioned for TV projects. Other podcasts, like its meditation show "Intención Del Día," have secured big advertising-based audiences.
  • Weinstein says Sonoro can become the "partner of choice" for Hispanic creators. Sonoro produces content in Spanish, English and "Spanglish," he says, which helps it reach an audience that's increasingly "multicultural, bilingual and bicultural."

By the numbers: The company employs 55 people across Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City. It breaks even on high seven figures of revenue, Weinstein says.

  • Roughly 40% of its revenue comes from advertising and brand partnerships in the U.S. and Mexico.
  • About 35% comes from content partnerships and licensing for its audio projects. The remaining 25% comes from licensing its IP for TV and film projects, along with live events and consumer products.
  • The company has 130 pieces of audio content in development, including a few of its own original series. It has deals for roughly a dozen TV and film projects based on some of those franchises. Weinstein says the company is actively developing another 18 projects.

The big picture: More money has flowed into Hispanic media companies in recent years.

  • Latina activists and entrepreneurs raised $80 million last year to launch a new radio-focused startup called the Latino Media Network.
  • New York-based digital media company Canela Media raised $32 million in Series A funding last year.
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