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June 28, 2022

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🤖 Situational awareness: Elon Musk gained access to Twitter data that he requested, but data scientists and specialists tell the WSJ that they doubt it will provide conclusive answers about spam accounts.

1 big thing: Independent audio research

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Veritonic, a New York-based audio research and analytics company, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding, CEO and founder Scott Simonelli tells Kerry.

Why it matters: With U.S. podcast ad spending expected to surpass $2 billion by 2023, per eMarketer, third-party platforms can find success making sure brands are spending their money efficiently.

Details: Lavrock Ventures led the round, with participation from Progress Ventures, Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau and Newark Venture Partners.

  • Lavrock Ventures' Daniel Hanks is joining Veritonic's board.
  • Simonelli declined to disclose the company's annual revenue or valuation, but he said the company has now raised $14.7 million in total, and Veritonic's investors bet on companies they think can be valued at $1 billion.

How it works: Veritonic was founded in 2015. The early focus was on audio measurement, but it's now grown to offer competitive intelligence, performance and measurement tools.

  • Clients include NPR, SiriusXM, Westwood One, Havas and Audacy. 
  • Clients, on average, spend between $25,000 and $200,000 per year for access to its software, Simonelli says.
  • "Spotify acquiring Podsights and Chartable ... made that appetite for an independent, third-party, end-to-end solution ⁠— the web analytics for audio, the Nielsen ratings but for audio ⁠— go up," Simonelli says.

What's next: Veritonic has 28 employees. It plans to reach upwards of 100 employees over the next two to three years, Simonelli says.

  • Most of its staff are in New York. Others are elsewhere in U.S. and in the U.K. Veritonic also serves clients in Australia and Germany and plans to invest in more international growth.
  • Veritonic hasn't made any acquisitions yet but is exploring opportunities, says Simonelli.

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