Otto Radio gets Samsung investment, launches public API

otto-radioOtto Radio has secured an investment from Samsung NEXT, the venture capital arm of the tech conglomerate. Otto Radio offers audio streams of podcasts and audio news centered on a particular listener’s own interests; think of the concept as Pandora for podcasts. “Our team saw Otto Radio’s potential to build a personalized media experience that’s transportable among different platforms, and they are poised to capture that opportunity with their growing suite of products and public API,” said Christina Bechhold, Principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures. The size of the investment was not revealed.

Otto Radio won the 2016 RAIN Award for best audio startup for its approach to curated personal audio. The investment lines up with Otto’s launch of the Otto Everywhere API, which lets other companies access that personalized audio stream. The public API launch follows an integration with the ride-sharing app Uber in November. Otto Radio is slated to launch on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the first quarter of 2017.

“In this connected world, personalized content needs to flow seamlessly across multiple platforms and provide a contextualized experience better than the traditional source it’s displacing,” Otto Radio CEO and co-founder Stanley Yuan said. “The Otto Everywhere API provides our partners with a premium, personalized audio content strategy for free and the flexibility to design a listening experience native to their product environment.”

Anna Washenko