Ipadio secures £500k in new backing for mobile audio sharing

Ipadio, a service which lets you upload and share audio from an iPhone or Android app or a voice call, in a similar manner to competitor AudioBoo.fm, has secured funding from Sussex Research Limited, the investment vehicle of Stewart Newton, a London-based financier who had enough clout to save English Hockey from bankruptcy a few years ago. Newton made his money through Newton Investment Management, a company he formed in 1977.

The amount was undisclosed but understood to be part of a commitment towards a £500,000 target. The company plans to see additional financing in first quarter of next year. The money will be used to further develop the service.

In particular it’s Ipadio’s ability to deliver searchable audio content direct to the web and also into internal company systems which caught the backer’s eye. It currently uses Spinvox to convert audio to text thus making it searchable, but it could use any similar engine.

Ipadio’s business model – which is a a spin out of digital communication company Nemisys – is built around a paid-for commercial service used inside companies as part of their CRM systems. The free consumer-based service is a way to distribute the application. Audioboo, by contrast, sells a premium version of their system to media owners.

The iPadio iphone app gives the user a choice between a live telephone call via various global numbers (it works in the US, Europe and Asia), and recording via the iPhone’s in-built mic for subsequent upload. You can live stream your audio to the Web via a phone call and it triggers updates automatically to Facebook and Twitter. The file generated also gets automatically geo-located on a Google map.

iPadio is essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of digital communication company Nemisys which provides a live-to-the-web broadcasting platform. Nemysis has plans to make the platform available to companies as internal communications and braodcast tools. Since Ipadio is basically a telephony product adapted for the Web it can bring multiple people to one call, as in a one to many broadcast. So a “large utility company” is currently using it to communicate with 20,000 field staff who don’t have smartphones. It can also perfom DTMF functions like phone polling.