Ossa

Early Stage

The Podcaster and Listener-Owned Podcast Network

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $72,276

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

StartEngine

Start Date

04/19/2022

Close Date

07/18/2022

Min. Goal

$9,999

Max. Goal

$1,069,995

Min. Investment

$199

Security Type

Equity - Common

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Pre-Seed

Price Per Share

$2.80

Pre-Money Valuation

$14,000,000

Rolling Commitments $

Status

Active

Reporting Date

05/21/2022

Days Remaining

58

% of Min. Goal

723%

% of Max. Goal

7%

Likelihood of Max
unlikely
Avg. Daily Raise

$2,259

Momentum
cold.svg
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Location

Tenafly, New Jersey

Industry

Marketing & Advertising

Tech Sector

AdTech

Distribution Model

B2B/B2C

Margin

High

Capital Intensity

Low

Business Type

High Growth

Ossa, with a valuation of $14 million, is raising funds on StartEngine. It is a marketplace that connects brands with podcast advertising. The podcaster and listener-owned podcast network amplifies the voices of women, recognizes their value, and accelerates their path in the podcast industry. Ossa has a network of more than 13,000 women podcasters with a monthly reach of over 12 million listeners. Marla Isackson founded Ossa in January 2022. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $9,998.80 and a maximum target of $1,069,994.80. The campaign proceeds will be used to increase the revenue, grow the podcasters, and position the company as the go-to platform for advertisers and podcasters.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$186,964

$128,991

COGS

$122,144

$80,066

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$-254,033

$-230,345

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$50,808

$26,291

Accounts Receivable

$41,108

$380

Total Assets

$129,254

$26,671

Short-Term Debt

$117,674

$60,601

Long-Term Debt

$0

$0

Total Liabilities

$117,674

$60,601

Financials as of: 04/19/2022
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

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Synopsis

Podcasts are popular. As of 2021, 41% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once per month, and 28% listen at least once per week. Advertisers see podcasts as a lucrative marketing opportunity, particularly because they can target ads to certain demographics based on the specific podcast. Podcast ad spending is expected to increase by 30.2% year over year in 2022. US ad spending alone is expected to surpass $2 billion by next year. 

More advertising means that podcasting is an increasingly lucrative opportunity for creators. However, the playing field isn’t equal. The vast majority of top podcasts are hosted by men. As one female podcast noted, women and gender non-conforming folks still “have to contend with a very outdated stereotype of the default podcast being a show hosted by two nerdy white guys.” 

Ossa is a podcast network empowering womxn to succeed in podcasting. The Ossa platform helps underrepresented podcasters monitor and analyze their listener base and connect with advertisers interested in marketing to their particular audience. Podcasters receive ad payments quickly, and advertisers can browse a large network of diverse podcasts to find the right show for their message. 

Ossa’s current StartEngine raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Price

Ossa is offering equity at a $14 million valuation. That price is quite high relative to Ossa’s current traction. The company generated just $186,964 in 2021 revenue. That implies a nearly 75x revenue-to-valuation multiple, too high for almost any type of early-stage startup. While Ossa has succeeded at building a network of 1,300 podcasters so far, the company’s valuation should ultimately be rooted in revenue potential. Ossa has yet to prove that it can bring in enough revenue to justify this valuation. 

Market

Ossa generates revenue by taking a percentage of advertisers’ spending on its podcast platform. Therefore, Ossa sits within the podcast advertising market. That market is relatively small. In the US, it’s expected to hit $2 billion next year. But the podcast advertising market makes up for its size in growth potential. The market is expected to increase rapidly by 30.2% year over year in 2022. 

Though the market is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, Ossa might not be able to wait that long. The company will rely on carving out a specific niche of the podcast ad market because there are many other competing networks and ad matching services. The podcast advertising market isn’t currently big enough for a large number of competitors to each have a decent share. A small slice of a small pie is not an attractive market position for Ossa or its potential investors.

Team

Ossa was founded by Marla Isackson, a seasoned marketing executive who held leadership roles at numerous name-brand companies before becoming an entrepreneur. Isackson’s executive career began in the 1980s as an assistant vice president (VP) in marketing at Citi. She later held VP roles at American Express and WebMD before becoming the chief marketing officer at Barnes & Noble for one year. Since then, Isackson has spent the last two decades running her own ventures, namely two websites providing content and community for girls and women. She founded Ossa in 2018 after trying to launch her own podcast and realizing that garnering revenue was too difficult. 

Other than Isackson, the Ossa team includes fractional CFO Debra Angilletta. Angilletta has more than three decades of experience in finance. She currently runs her own consultancy and content creation firm serving accountants, bookkeepers, and consultants. She works at Ossa for approximately 20 hours per week. 

Ossa is led by strong executives with decades of professional experience. However, the team is still quite small, and it lacks individuals with experience in the podcast industry. Ossa is also in need of technical leadership. To become a true tech company worthy of a huge revenue-to-valuation multiple, Ossa’s tech platform will have to be second to none. Therefore, this team has a ways to go before becoming a true competitive advantage.

Differentiators

Ossa’s key differentiator is its focus on women and non-binary podcasters. The company believes they are underrepresented in podcasting and deserve an empowering network dedicated to helping them connect with advertisers and monetize their podcasts. While Ossa does seem to be the largest such network of womxn podcasters, there are several other boutique podcast studios focused on women-led shows or shows for women audiences: Seneca Women, EARIOS, and She Leads Podcast Network, to name a few. 

Ossa is focused on providing more than just a network to womxn podcasters. Members also receive a tech tool to help analyze their audience and match with advertisers. However, that feature set is competitive with a number of well-established tech companies, including Gumball and Podcorn. There’s even a platform aimed at matching micro-podcasters with advertisers: Podetize, which just raised on Republic earlier this year. 

Ossa’s offering is certainly unique, but it’s not clear that those differentiators are actually compelling enough to build a business on. Women podcasters can choose from other woman-focused podcast networks and can use larger and more well-established tools to match with advertisers. Ossa needs to prove that its technology provides an advantage that can only be found in its platform to be truly differentiated.

Performance

Ossa was founded in 2018, but it’s still an early-stage company in many ways. Revenue performance has been relatively weak. Ossa generated $186,964 in revenue in 2021, increasing by 44% from $128,991 in 2020. The company posted a reasonable net loss of $254,033 last year. 

Despite limited revenue, Ossa has been successful at bringing podcasters onto the platform. The company has a network of more than 1,300 podcasters, who collectively amass more than 12 million listens per month. What’s less known is how many advertisers use the Ossa platform to find podcasts for their ads. The company has plenty of podcasters, but revenue is still very limited. It’s unclear if that disparity arises from a lack of advertisers on the platform or from a flawed business model.

Ossa has begun the hard work of building a solid base of podcasters within its network. While that traction has shown solid growth, revenue is still quite low for the company. Ossa will need to see revenue grow substantially in the coming years in order to justify its valuation and to provide any kind of return for investors.

Risks

An investment in Ossa comes with a moderate risk level. First of all, the company is young and not particularly well established. Meager revenue traction – despite success in recruiting podcasters – could be a signal that Ossa’s business model isn’t sustainable. Furthermore, the company will always rely on having enough podcasters in its network and enough advertisers seeking podcasts for their ads. If either side of that equation becomes unbalanced, Ossa will suffer. 

Ossa’s long-term success will likely depend on building a differentiated, compelling tech platform. The company currently doesn’t have any technical leadership, so that success might be difficult to come by. Even if Ossa brings on technical talent quickly, it will still take time to fully build out a functional and unique platform. There’s also a risk that Ossa doesn’t have a track record of successful fundraising, which poses a risk if the business continues requiring investment to operate.

Bearish Outlook

There are two major reasons to be bearish about Ossa. First of all, Ossa might not be differentiated enough to eke out a slice of the pie in this competitive market. While womxn podcasters are undoubtedly underrepresented in the industry, there are already several other networks catering to them. They can use the same production and monetization tools as other podcasters, including several well-established advertiser marketplaces that might offer more opportunities than Ossa’s limited number of brand partners. 

That uncertainty is only compounded by the fact that Ossa’s business model hasn’t been proven yet. If Ossa only generates revenue from a percentage of ad spending, it’s imperative that the company build a robust network of both podcasters and brand partners who spend a great deal. Building a two-sided marketplace like that is difficult, and it is even more difficult due to the stiff competition that exists in this industry. If Ossa can’t succeed in differentiating and making more matches between podcasters and advertisers, revenue growth might continue to be sluggish.

Bullish Outlook

While Ossa is competing against many other podcast networks and monetization tools, the company has succeeded at growing a base of 1,300 podcasters with 12 million collective listens over the last several years. While this initial demand hasn’t been explosive, it has been strong. That could be because founder Marla Isackson is a deeply experienced marketer and executive. She’s also spent the last decade building women-focused brands and likely has a large network of creators and collaborators passionate about empowering womxn. 

The podcast advertising industry is still relatively small, but it is growing rapidly with 30.2% year-over-year growth expected in 2022. As the field of podcast advertising continues to evolve, advertisers may become more interested in allocating their dollars toward specific audiences. If Ossa can succeed at becoming the best hub for connecting with womxn podcasters and their female-leaning audiences, the company could capture a good deal of value in this expanding market.

Executive Summary

Ossa is a womxn’s podcast network and monetization platform helping underrepresented podcast creators launch their shows and match with advertisers. Over the last four years, Ossa has built a network of more than 1,300 podcasters, who amass 12 million listeners per month. Led by an experienced marketing executive passionate about empowering women, Ossa is well on the way toward becoming a hub for advertisers to connect with women-focused podcasts. 

On the other hand, Ossa has grown relatively slowly over the last several years. Even though the company has succeeded at building a decent-size podcaster network, revenue is relatively low. That lack of financial traction seems misaligned with Ossa’s large valuation for this round. Although the market is growing rapidly, it is still small, and there are a number of more established companies that can provide similar services. Therefore, Ossa has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd analyst report or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

Analysis written on May 6, 2022.

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Ossa on StartEngine 2022
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Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $14,000,000

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