'Twitter without typing' Audioboo secures funding

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The Independent Tech

Audioboo, dubbed "Twitter without typing," has secured funding as it looks to target the international radio market and bring it into the age of social networking.

The group, which allows users to record audio clips on their mobile phones and publish them online, was launched in March last year out of the ashes of Channel 4's failed attempt to enter the digital radio market.

Audioboo's founder and chief executive, Mark Rock, yesterday revealed that the group had secured a round of funding – which is believed to be in the region of £1m – to leave behind what he called a "hand-to-mouth existence".

The project was initially funded by 4ip, Channel 4's initiative to invest in digital, but according to Mr Rock that "soon dried up".

The investments revealed yesterday are from UBC Media, a radio content producer, the Pure Radio arm of Imagination Technologies, and angel investors including Sir Don Cruickshank, who will become the group's chairman.

The group plans to use the expertise from the new investors to "aggressively target the international radio market", saying it "always had the concept of radio at its core". Mr Rock said: "We believe it's one of the last areas of media in which innovation hasn't even begun to affect the traditional way of creating and distributing content." He added that there has been little innovation since podcasts.

He came up with the idea for Audioboo after his mother died two years ago and believes yesterday's investment and the addition of Sir Don "will help steer this beast towards the big vision we all have for it".

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