French Podcast Production Company Paradiso Media Receives Series A Funding
PRESS RELEASE · Los Angeles CA, United States ·
After an initial seed round of funding in July 2019, French podcast production company Paradiso Media, founded by Lorenzo Benedetti (founder of Studio Bagel and former Head of Digital Production at the Canal Plus Group), Louis Daboussy (former CCO of Konbini) and Benoit Dunaigre (formerly of Havas), has reached a new milestone in growth and received a Series A round of funding. Capital is being provided by three investors with complementary approaches: Swen Capital Partners, Alliance Entreprendre, and the French Tech Acceleration Fund operated on behalf of the French government by investment bank Bpifrance. All share the common goal of supporting Paradiso Media’s international development, building its workforce, and enabling the company to produce more film and television adaptations. Paradiso Media also proudly announces the debut of their latest production, “A Gay in the Life,” one of the first appointment-listening live audio “rooms” available exclusively on Spotify Greenroom. The series stars Garrett Clayton (Teen Beach Movie) and writer Blake Knight, who recently made headlines with their star-studded wedding ceremony officiated by Alicia Silverstone. “A Gay in the Life” will begin airing on Spotify Greenroom Monday nights at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern on September 13th.
Paradiso Media co-founder Lorenzo Benedetti shares: “After 2 active years of steady growth, Paradiso Media is entering a new stage in its development. Thanks to the support of our angel investors, we are leading France’s competitive podcasting market and establishing a firm foothold in the United States as a result of our high-quality programming and growing audiences. Along with our partner audio platforms (Audible, Spotify, Deezer, Sybel, etc.) and thanks to the support of Swen Capital Partners, Alliance Entreprendre, and the French Tech Acceleration Fund managed by Bpifrance, we will implement an international and multi-format strategy in order to have our projects be heard, and eventually seen, by the world.”
Paradiso Media is perhaps best known in the U.S. for its intimate and narrative-driven podcast “Love Under Lockdown," nominated for a 2021 Webby Award in the category "Best Documentary Podcast: Limited Series.”
Founded in 2019, Paradiso Media develops, produces and distributes premium original podcasts for the global market, with the aim of sharing compelling, character-driven narrative stories reflective of the present day in the genres of fiction, documentary and childrens’ programming. Initially supported by by angel investors Rodolphe Belmer (Eutelsat), Pierre-Antoine Capton (Mediawan), Grégory Dray (Google), Julien Leroux (Cineflix), and Iconoclast, Paradiso has deep roots in audiovisual and launched with the intention of creating podcasts that would lend themselves easily to film and television adaptation from the very start. The studio has already produced more than 20 podcasts in France and the United States in partnership with Spotify, Audible, Deezer, Sybel and Stitcher, creating unique audio experiences for a truly global audience. Paradiso’s podcast library now totals more than 100 hours of multilingual audio programming and receives more than 1 million downloads a month.
At present, Paradiso Media is the only French studio (and among the top 5 worldwide) with an international approach to the development, production and distribution of multilingual podcasts. By December of 2021, Paradiso will have launched several podcasts in English, Spanish, German and French: some in wide release on all platforms and some as platform exclusives. Paradiso also distinguishes itself by using all original music for all productions, and all podcasts, regardless of where they are created, receive post-production in their Paris studios.
With more than 35 employees and counting in Paris and Los Angeles, more than 60% of whom are creatives, Paradiso Media is made up of an international network of talent, with backgrounds and experience in podcasting, audiovisual media, publishing and advertising.
Most recently in the United States, Emi Norris, Managing Director of Paradiso Media US, has elevated Molly O’Keefe to Head of Development. O’Keefe was previously Senior Director of Artist Programs at the Tribeca Film Institute and a development and production executive at Sundance Productions and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour. Additionally, Yael Even Or, who recently served as Senior Producer at Audible, will work alongside Norris and O’Keefe to produce Paradiso’s second English-language original podcast “Seventeen” (8 x 20') written and voiced by acclaimed journalist Laura Leigh Abby (VICE, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan). Their robust development slate includes several kids’ podcasts, a sports fashion podcast in partnership with MACRO Television Studios and a global non-scripted podcast development partnership with Ubisoft for three of their major video game franchises.
In Paris, Mélanie Vazeux (former International Marketing Manager at Studiocanal and Distribution Manager at Universal Pictures International) joined Paradiso Media in August of 2021 as Marketing and Sales Director. Having most recently served as Commercial Director for one of France’s largest podcast networks, Nouvelles Écoutes, she will be responsible for audience development, monetization, and growing Paradiso’s branded content vertical.
These recent appointments will further enable Paradiso Media to strengthen its presence in the United States and Europe and continue to produce more new and exciting content as well as develop film and television adaptations.
The company has already optioned three of its French-language limited series podcasts for film and TV adaptations: the coming-of-age documentary “Mes 14 ans” to Brut, YA thriller “Chosen” to the Mediawan Group and family drama “In Flip Flops at the Base of the Himalaya” to Cinéfrance Studio. More recently, Paradiso Media launched their #ShootThePodcast initiative, a co-development program for podcasts in partnership with leading audiovisual and film production companies.
About the Series A
Paradiso Media was advised by Steve Sala and Benjamin Elbaz of eCAP PARTNER, Brice Gigodot of IKILA Advisory, Simon Servan-Schreiber of Goodwin, Benjamin Bitton of 2C Finance and Renaud Gerry and Chloé Huertas of Charles Russell Speechlys.
Xavier Le Blan (SWEN Capital Partners): “The Paradiso Media team won us over with our shared values as well as their ambition and dynamism in a booming podcast market. Paradiso is perfectly positioned to conquer this market thanks to its knowledge of talent, its creativity, its intuition, and its established presence in the sector.”
Clemence Rousselet (Director of Investments - ICC division of Bpifrance): “Paradiso is currently the only French podcast studio to exhibit true international ambition. The cultural and creative industries - of which podcasting is a part - are emerging as important tools for French growth and economic development.”
Antoine Bodet (Alliance Entreprendre): “We quickly identified Paradiso Media as a real incubator of talent and stories adaptable to the audiovisual medium. With our experience in the audiovisual sector and several podcast adaptations already in the works, we look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Paradiso.”
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