gestio Closed on $1.5 million in seed funding for its platform that simplifies the booking process for podcasts.
Founder and CEO Travis Chappelle said users can visit the platform and book guests for their shows at the click of a button in all kinds of topics and with shows big or small.
Chappelle himself is a podcaster who hosts an entrepreneurial show called “Build Your Network.” After doing about 700 episodes over the years, he found that leveling up the type of guest he wanted on the show became more difficult in the process.
Podcasting is estimated to be a $1 billion industry this yearIn 2021, more than 118 million Americans tuned in every month. It’s no surprise that reaching the super inaccessible is a challenge, but seeing the success of apps like Cameo, Chappelle thought there might be a better way for podcasters.
He launched Guestio in 2020 as a booking marketplace. Users can go as a podcaster and book someone for many different purposes. Talent, on the other hand, can use the app to book shows and also advertise what they are doing, such as a book coming out and wanting to do a book tour.
Guestio’s current business model keeps 20% of the booking fee and the rest goes to the booker or talent. Chappell said it has also launched a new feature that enables guests to charge a fee for marketing the interviews they do and is set to unveil a new “mini-endorsement” feature, where businesses are famous. Celebrities can buy audio or video ads that they can use for things like ad campaigns, Chappell said.
“We’re also adding more subscription tiers so that people who need a constant influx of guests for the show can pay the monthly fee,” he added. “We’re also coming up with ‘Gestio Credits’ that people can use to book interviews or pitch an idea.”
Backers of the company include angel investors such as John Lee Dumas, David Meltzer, Matt Barnes, Joel Marion, Xavi Band, Ross Paquette and Josh Snow.
Dumas, founder and host of the “Entrepreneurs on Fire” podcast, said he has known Chappelle since 2017, and when he heard the idea for Gesto, he wanted to be a part of it. He, too, struggled to reach highly qualified people to appear on his shows, while also finding it difficult for podcasters to see if they were the right fit.
“It really is for any platform,” he said. “The booking mechanism fits across all platforms, and going forward, as more people get comfortable with virtual platforms, a company like Gestoio is going to be at the forefront. He is already a leader in the space at the moment and one of the first to do so at a high level and that will be something people will continue to go for.”
According to Chappell, Gestoio’s platform has about 3,000 users and has generated nearly $200,000 in revenue over the past five months. He intends to use the new funding to build the company’s lean workforce, invest in marketing, and continue software development.
Their next goal is to focus on the talent side of the market to add more features for guests who book themselves into the show. He said similar booking platforms charge higher dollar amounts per appearance on podcasts, but aren’t transparent about what’s involved. Gestio collects data on podcasts, and as a result, is able to provide details on audiences and other insights so that talent can make better decisions.
“I’m proud of our team that we’ve been able to execute some of these big deals and drive revenue through this stage,” Chappell said.