Leading French podcast production company Paradiso Media has completed a series of rounds of funding for its international development, building its workforce and continuing more film and TV adaptations.
Although Paradiso Media did not disclose the amount of the round of funding, a source close to the company said a total of € 5 million ($ 5.9 million) was raised.
Founded in 2019 by Lorenzo Benedetti, Louis Daboussi and Benoit Dunaigre, Paradiso Media has listed major new investors, including Swain Capital Partners, Alliance Entrepreneur and French Tech Acceleration Fund of BP France.
Paradiso Media recently distributed “Love Under Lockdown”, an intimate and anecdotal podcast that was nominated for the 2021 Webby Award in the “Best Documentary Podcast: Limited Series” category. Its recent productions include “A Gay in the Life” starring Garrett Clayton and author Blake Knight, whose star-studded wedding was hosted by Alicia Silverstone. The series is exclusively available in Spotify Greenroom and is launching today.
Paradiso Media’s angel investors include successful executives in the audiovisual landscape of France, most notably Rodolfe Belmar, the former CEO of Canal Plus Group who is now the head of Utelsat; Pierre-Antoine Captain, MediaOne CEO; Gregory Drey, head of Google Kids, family entertainment and education at EMEA; Julian Lerux, CEO of Paper Entertainment who previously worked at Cinflix; And production company Iconoclast.
Lorenzo Benedetti (pictured with Emmy Norris), who previously founded Studio Bagel and led the digital production at Canal Plus Group, said Paradiso Media is entering a new phase of its development after two years of active growth.
“Thanks to the support of our angel investors, we are leading the competitive podcasting market in France and establishing a strong foothold in the United States as a result of our high quality programming and growing audience,” said Benedetti, who joined forces with Dabsi. For the former Havas executive Benoit Dunaigre.
Benedetti said the group’s new financial backers would allow the banner to implement an “international and multi-format strategy” and that its “projects would be heard worldwide and finally seen.”
“Paradiso is well on its way to conquering this market because of its talent, its creativity, its insight and its established presence in the sector,” said Xavier Le Blan of Swain Capital Partners.
“Paradiso is currently the only French podcast studio that truly demonstrates international ambitions,” noted Clemenceau Rousselet from the ICC BP France division.
“We quickly identified Paradiso Media as a true incubator of the real story by adapting it to talent and audiovisual media,” said Anthony Bodet in Alliance Entrepreneur.
Benedetti noted that the company’s DNA was always about creating podcasts that could easily be converted into movies and TV content.
Paradiso Media’s development pipeline includes film and TV adaptations based on its limited-series French-language podcasts, especially the upcoming Mess 14 anne documentary with Brut, the thriller “Choice” with MediaOne Group, and the family drama “In the Himalayan Flip” With the studio, Paradiso Media also recently launched their #ShootThePodcast initiative, a co-development program for podcasts in partnership with major audiovisual and film production companies.
The studio has so far produced more than 20 podcasts in France and the United States through partnerships with Spotify, Audible, Deezer, Siebel and Stitcher. Paradiso’s Podcast Library now hosts over 100 hours of audio programming in English, Spanish, German and French, and receives over one million downloads per month.
The company has more than 355 employees across Paris and Los Angeles, including Amy Norris and Molly O’Keefe, managing directors of Paridiso Media USA, who recently became head of development. O’Keefe was previously the Senior Director of the Artist Program at the Tribeca Film Institute and Sundance Production and Ben Steeler’s Red Hour Development and Production Executive. Other recent recruits include Yale Even Orr, who recently worked as a senior producer at Audible. He even worked with Norris and O’Keefe to create Paradiso’s second English-language original podcast, “Seventeen”, written and voiced by acclaimed journalist Laura Leigh Abby.
Paradiso Media’s powerful development slate includes several children’s podcasts, a sports fashion podcast in partnership with Macro Television Studios, and global non-scripted podcast development for their three major video game franchises with Ubisoft.