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Home » HearstLab announces fundraising round with Barometer, a podcast measurement solution | What’s New in Publishing

HearstLab announces fundraising round with Barometer, a podcast measurement solution | What’s New in Publishing

HearstLab, an investment arm of Hearst Corporation focused exclusively on supporting women-led technology startups, has announced closing a successful fundraising round with Barometer. The company joins HearstLab’s portfolio of nearly 60 startup investments to date.

Barometer, a platform that employs AI technology to assist brands in evaluating the suitability of podcast content for advertising, has concluded a successful fundraising round with HearstLab.

Barometer uses AI to evaluate podcast transcripts according to GARM’s framework for Brand Safety Floor & Suitability. It also pulls in insights from beyond the transcripts for a holistic perspective on both the content and host. Advertisers can then view a full matrix of suitable content partners on their Barometer dashboard, enabling more informed ad buys.

Podcast advertising spend is forecasted to exceed $4 billion in 2024 and is the, “fastest-growing, highest-ROI advertising channel available to marketers today” according to Barometer Co-Founder & CEO Tamara Zubatiy. She adds, however, “the biggest brands in the world fear association with controversial content. Before, they had no way to evaluate podcast inventory for their brand requirements at scale.”

Hearst’s position in the media space brings a strategic advantage as we continue to grow within the digital audio space and across other channels.

Tamara Zubatiy, Co-Founder & CEO, Barometer

HearstLab: focusing on women-led startups

Founded by Hearst EVP Eve Burton in 2016, HearstLab focuses exclusively on women-led startups and early-stage investments.

Based out of Hearst’s headquarters in New York City with satellite teams across the world (including Amsterdam, Spain, and London) HearstLab’s core team includes 5 full-time fellows as well as a ‘scout network’ of 150 women executives from across the Hearst ecosystem.

To date, the company has invested in nearly 60 companies which have, according to the publisher, a current market value of $2B collectively. HearstLab’s typical investment is $500K in Pre-Series A rounds.

This is not an HR project or charity for anyone. This is a for-profit Lab that invests in underrepresented founders because the data shows that, on average, women-led companies are more innovative and perform better than their male-led counterparts. Our success in the numbers shows that. That’s what’s so exciting about the Lab.

Eve Burton, HearstLab Chairwoman & Hearst EVP

HearstLab’s portfolio includes Gloss Genius (a mobile-first platform powering businesses of beauty professionals), FreeWill (online estate planning with a focus on charitable giving); Wellthy (a chronic and eldercare concierge); StrongDM (control over employee access to data within a single platform); and Beam (retail solution empowering users to donate part of their purchases to causes they believe in). 

According to a spokeswoman, women entrepreneurs can apply for investment through the HearstLab website, with the focus primarily on, “pre-seed/seed B2B tech-enabled platforms with a working MVP and connectivity to the Hearst network.”

HearstLab also hosts multiple pitch events, offering a chance for female founders to pitch live for a chance to win $100K. The next event is May 9, 2023 in LA:

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