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after raising $16m in funding, castbox plans to fix podcast discovery

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after raising $16m in funding, castbox plans to fix podcast discovery

more people than ever are listening to podcasts, but as they soon find out, discovering new ones is a cumbersome process that lacks the serendipity users take for granted in other apps. castbox wants to fix that by becoming “the youtube of audio.” the podcast player for ios and android, which has raised $16 million in funding so far, is launching a new audio search feature today that uses natural language processing to let listeners search for keywords and topics across more than 50 million episodes.founder and chief executive officer xiaoyu wang wants castbox’s in-audio search to make finding relevant sections of audio as easy as searching in text. the feature supports english, and wang says the company wants to perfect it before expanding into other languages. castbox’s funding includes a recently closed $12.8 million series a round led by qiming venture partners and idg capital, with participation from sig china, gsr ventures and zhenfund.with the addition of in-audio search, castbox hopes to become the breakout podcast player for ios and android. it will start co-producing and releasing original content this quarter and its monetization plan includes a premium option with extra features.castbox is headquartered in beijing, with offices in hong kong and san francisco, and claims that its podcast player has been downloaded more than eight million times. though most of castbox’s users are english speakers, wang says she decided to base the company in china because...