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Acast goes public

Podcast hosting, content, and advertising company Acast has launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq North Premier Growth Market. Acast’s trading symbol appears as ACAST, which is clear enough, and the first day of trading saw the share price ranging from 32 to 40 Swedish Krona, settling at 37.2 SEK ($4.41 USD).

Nasdaq describes the North Premier Growth Market as: “Our senior growth market segment designed to assist companies in raising investor visibility and prepare them for a Main Market listing. The Premier segment targets companies that are ready and make a conscious decision to comply with higher listing requirements than the standard First North rules.”

Co-founder Johan Billgren said, “A bold statement to the world: podcasting is here to stay” in a blog post of the announcement. “Today was a proud moment for me personally, but also for Acast and everyone who’s been involved in our journey so far, as we rang the Nasdaq bell and became a listed company on the First North Premier Growth Market.”

Billgren noted that in a recent Kantar research report weekly and monthly podcasting reach with 16–44-year-olds is now higher than that of commercial radio. “Trends we see in Sweden tend to follow in other markets as they mature,” he said.

Acast was founded in October 2013, just before what might be described as podcasting’s modern resurgence, with much less organization in the market, especially in matching advertisers to on-demand audio. “That’s what we set out to fix,” Billgren says. “It was not a simple task, though, and I maxed out my credit card to make it through the early days. I lost my voice because we were doing so many pitches, mostly to people who’d never even listened to a podcast before.”

Acast employs a staff of 300 people around the world, Johan Billgren writes, and the company has paid over $100-million to creators.

“We’re just getting started,” Billgren states optimistically. A new start for a now-public company, for sure.

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Brad Hill

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