Nooble: 100X.VC Investment Thesis




 

Introduction 

"If you think of audio as the way you think of, say, film, like we're still in the black-and-white period. What's the colour going to look like? What's 3-D going to look like?"

- "Today, Explained" host Sean Rameswaram on Recode Decode

The term podcasting was invented in early 2004. The audio wave was still not on the horizon. However, players like Apple had already integrated this rising content medium with their products. Soon started the hot trend of listening and creating audio content that we see today across platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Typically, the time frame for an audio episode is about 30-70 minutes. Most of these hour-long episodes are content-heavy, therefore posing a challenge for listeners to test their undivided attention and time. Since 2004 and the decade that followed, people have realised their limited time and attention capacity; owing to these constraints, they look for shorter, crisper, and to the point content. This shift in consumer behaviour is one of the elements which formed the basis of support for the short audio content market in general.

Besides, it has been seen that people prefer consuming audio content for certain topics over a visual representation of the same. Audio saves time as there is no need to pay more attention; the audio proves to be enough. Consuming information via audio is liberating and gives users the flexibility to pursue other tasks.

The discovery & distribution of information via the current audio ecosystem is broken. The audio category is still waiting for its TikTok moment. Going viral in the audio space, unless it is a song, is unheard of yet. But, the possibility is not ruled out completely. Short audio content houses are working towards making quality content ubiquitous. Nooble is one such company.

A little on Nooble

Nooble is a social audio platform where people create, discover and share information via short audio clips of fewer than 3 minutes. Nooble began as a place to consume open source university courses via audio. Today, they have moved on to build a platform for short-form audio content. It leverages the power of online communities and easy creation tools to deliver the next-gen social audio experience. Users create audio newsletters on nooble and share them with their followers. Listeners discover exciting content via a curated self-playing discovery feed. Nooble is also building tools to gamify the entire experience of audio consumption and creation.

Nooble is built by a team of auditory learners. Harsh Aggarwal, Shantanu Garg and Vikranth Kumar together have experience building several consumer-tech, audio-tech & deep-tech products in the past.


Market Opportunity

The audio ecosystem could be divided by the length of content(short, long) and the content delivery nature(live, asynchronous). Nooble is positioned in the short form asynchronous audio content quadrant.

The global podcasting market was valued at $ 9.28 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.5% from 2020 to 2027.

There are approximately a little over a billion people who have heard a podcast at least once. There are around 800 million people within this pool who listen to podcasts every week, out of which 40% drop out within the first 7 minutes, summing up to $3.1 billion. South Asian countries like India, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines seem to be key growth areas in geographies. Nooble's current user base is based out of the APAC region. In the future, they plan to expand to the Western audience.

100X.VC Thesis

We have seen consumer behaviour shifting from long-form to shorter forms already play out for text and video. We expect Nooble to achieve the same feat with audio. 

Micro-casting is a concentrated shot of niche-specific information, and Nooble will give listeners exactly what they want in a few minutes. The rise of the creator economy will also speed up this change. More people will be able to start sharing their knowledge and build an audience using their voice. Nooble, with a great team and a great product, is helping these creators by making the barriers to entry to create and get discovered super low. Over the last five years, dedicated audio apps in China have been growing - online audio market users grew by over 22% in China in 2018, faster than mobile video or reading. Looking at China, we can further illustrate potential business models — partly through adopting an audio-centric approach rather than adhering to a strict definition of podcasting and levering the concept of community building. India serves as a huge market and 100X.VC believes this team will be a category creator. It's a chance to build a very engaged audience of daily listeners before the general population has caught on and the market gets crowded.


Conclusion

Nooble is attempting to hit a sweet spot for audio content consumers. The space seems very interesting and does promise users a good change in content consumption. 100X.VC wishes team Nooble a successful journey ahead.

- 100X.VC Team

Published on: September 29, 2021