Feb 20, 2024 - Economy

Sports podcast company Blue Wire raises round from Decathlon

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill with Benjamin Franklin wearing headphones.  

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Blue Wire, a sports podcast company, has raised new funding from Decathlon Capital to fuel its growth, founder Kevin Jones tells Axios.

Why it matters: A broader ad market slowdown has forced podcast businesses to shrink over the past year as they focus more on profitability.

Of note: The 6-year-old company has cut its staff from 30 to 18 in recent months, slashing its marketing team that created custom content for podcasters.

  • Jones declined to disclose details on the total raised or the company's valuation after Decathlon's round.

Catch up quick: The funding follows a community fundraising round last year. The firm raised $218,190 from 80 investors, well off its $1 million goal.

  • Blue Wire has previously raised $12 million, including a $1.2 million seed round and a $5 million Series A led by Dot Capital in 2020, a $3.5 million investment and studio residency with Wynn Resorts, and various angel investments.

Details: The Decathlon investment is primarily for building proprietary technology to help podcasters run their businesses more efficiently. It's also for recruiting more content creators and hiring more salespeople.

Between the lines: Blue Wire is ending a three-year partnership with Wynn Resorts, which will remain one of the company's largest shareholders, Jones says.

  • The move comes as Wynn ceases operations of its WynnBEt service and iGaming platform across eight U.S. states.

By the numbers: Blue Wire reached profitability in October 2023 and is cash flow positive, Jones says. Profit margins improved 39% from 2022 to 2023, he adds.

  • The company works with more than 20 podcast networks, along with dozens of independent podcasters, including Action Network, All City Network, Betsperts, Fubo and Sports Gambling Podcast Network.
  • More than 130 advertisers worked with Blue Wire in 2023.
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