Investing in Voice – Yannick Oswald, Mangrove Capital – Voice Tech Podcast ep.069

Yannick Oswald Mangrove Capital

Episode description

As the number of voice tech innovations continues to rise, how are investors responding? Is there interest in this potential investment niche or has it not yet penetrated the investor psyche enough for serious capital injection? Today’s guest, Yannick Oswald of Mangrove Capital Partners, shares his investor insights into the voice tech space.

Mangrove Capital is a venture capital firm chasing transformational ideas around the world, with a focus on early-stage companies before product launch. They have several very successful seed investments such as Skype and Wix, and are very bullish on voice tech. We kick off this episode with Yannick explaining the firm’s interest in the voice space. With a relatively new interest of only a year and a half, they feel that voice can catalyze a shift in technological social interaction.

While conventional social media is a solitary, private experience, voice has the potential to take away the fake façade of other social platforms and reestablish the authentic connection. From there, we learn more about Mangrove’s voice investment, Sybel, and how the platform seeks to reinvent audio entertainment. Yannick found that listening to a documentary provided the same entertainment experience as watching it on screen, which is what sparked his interest. We then move onto podcasts and audio content, and where Yannick sees opportunities for investors. He talks about how this niche will branch off into different genres and the likely determining factors of success. The lockdown has changed the way that people interact with voice and audio platforms, and companies can use this time to cement their places in users’ lives.

The show rounds off with some advice from Yannick for voice tech entrepreneurs and what’s in store for Mangrove Capital moving forward. This was a great discussion, so be sure to tune in!

Highlights

  • Learn more about Mangrove Capital, its investment focus, and how they fund companies.
  • Why Mangrove became interested in voice tech and the firms and use cases they look for.
  • Find out why Yannick feels that this is a turning point for voice for it to leave its mark.
  • How voice tech can bring spontaneity back into tech social interactions.
  • Learn more about Sybel and what sparked Mangrove Capital’s investment in them.
  • How the lockdown can influence people’s consumption of voice tech.
  • The different elements of content quality and its relationship to voice media.
  • The factors that stood out to Mangrove with Sybel and how their visions aligned.
  • Why Yannick feels it’s difficult to put a number on the audio market size.
  • How to assess a space where there has not been a breakout product yet.
  • Where Mangrove Capital get their information from and gain market insights.
  • Yannick’s advice for people building a product who are hoping for investments.
  • Why Mangrove Capital tends to avoid events and spends it with entrepreneurs directly.
  • Understanding podcasts and the investment potential in that they hold.
  • How voice tech platforms are likely to evolve over time.
  • Audio ads: Why Yannick is interested in them and what he’s learned.
  • Bad advice Yannick hears in the investment space that entrepreneurs should disregard.
  • Yannick’s most worthwhile investment and the best $100 he’s spent in the last few months.
  • What’s on the horizon for Mangrove Capital and how they’re taking advantage of lockdown.

Quotes from the show

[10:56] Voice is the closest interface to real life

[26:02] Tell me that you are solving a massive problem

[30:29] Surround yourself with the best people you can find

Links to click

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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