Web radio venture raises cash


$16 million may not seem like much, but raising capital is not easy these days. Goom Radio was announced in March with former Clear Channel and dMarc execs heading the online radio venture.

As of yet, you can’t actually listen to the Goom “personalized radio” service. Its website is inviting would-be “Goomers” to register their email addresses to be invited to join the beta test later this year. Goom Radio says its mission is “reinventing radio for the Internet generation.”

The start-up company announced that it has secured approximately $16 million in funding from Wellington Partners Venture Capital, Elaia Partners and Partech International in its Series A round. The company is led by CEO Rob Williams, former Market Manager for Clear Channel New York, and Chief Sales Officer Drew Hilles, who led dMarc Broadcasting through an acquisition by Google, where he served as a director for four years.

The funding from Wellington Partners was led by general partner Eric Archambeau, who has more than 20 years of experience launching technology and Internet companies in Silicon Valley and Europe including RightPoint Software, which went public as Epiphany, and eGroups, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2000.

“We see something fundamentally disruptive in Goom Radio; the company is evolving one of the few remaining mediums that hasn’t been overhauled by the web. Printed news, television, music and movies have been transformed by the web and now it is radio’s turn. This combined with the stellar executive team put together by Rob Williams, and a promising business model make the timing right for the evolution of the radio industry online,” said Archambeau.

Partech International brings more than 25 years of funding technology startups to their partnerships with Goom Radio. The funding was led by firm partner Philippe Colombel. Partech International’s portfolio includes successes such as Meiosys, acquired by IBM in 2005, and Informatica, which went public in 1999.

“Goom Radio has set out to change the way radio is perceived by creating a unique alternative to what is currently available in the world of radio both online and off. Receiving the support of Wellington Partners, Partech and Elaia, all of which have strong experience in this space, validates our belief that there is tremendous potential for this offering,” said Williams.

The funds will be used to help Goom Radio launch its offering, hire a dedicated sales team and build out infrastructure. Goom Radio has already started to expand its sales team by recently appointing Joe Anastasi, a 20-year radio industry veteran, as account executive of the sales team. Anastasi joins Goom Radio from Google Audio.

Goom Radio US operates from the historic former Clear Channel Z100 studios in Jersey City. With proven initial success in France, Goom Radio US will be adapted to meet the varying needs of the US market. Goom Radio France launched in fall 2008 and is founded by Emmanuel Jayr and Roberto Ciurleo, former executives at NRJ, France’s number one radio station.