RedCircle’s latest feature makes it easy to tip podcast creators

A group of former Uber employees unveiled their podcasting startup RedCircle last week, and now they’re already launching new features — specifically the ability for listeners to make small tip payments to podcasters.

RedCircle has created a web-based podcast player of its own, but CEO Michael Kadin (previously an engineering manager at Uber) said the mission isn’t to compete with other podcast apps. Instead the team aims to create the tools podcasters need to build a real business.

In fact, RedCircle is already offering some of those tools — like hosting and analytics — for free, and it also launched a cross-promotion marketplace where those podcasters can team up to try to grow each others’ audiences.

As for the new tipping feature, it appears as a button on the RedCircle player, allowing users to pay $2, $5 or a custom amount with just a few clicks (you’ll also need to enter your credit card info, of course). The startup can also automatically insert a tipping link into a podcast’s show notes, so listeners will find out about it regardless of the player they use.

Co-founder Jeremy Lermitte (a former Uber product manager) added that tipping provides a way for fans to compensate a podcaster for an episode they particularly enjoyed without making the long-term commitment of, say, signing up for a Patreon subscription.

“This allows you to engage at your own pace,” Lermitte said.

Podcasters can and do accept one-time payments via PayPal or Venmo, but Kadin said RedCircle offers more data about who’s making the payments, while also providing a 1099 form for taxes and “all the other things you want to turn this into a real thing, versus something casual.”

“The first thing podcasters say they need is to grow their audience,” he added. “The second thing is to make money from it. Now we’re working on both of those problems. Just give us another week and a half and we’ll make even more progress.”

RedCircle has raised a $1.5 million seed round led by Roy Bahat at Bloomberg Beta .

Slack to live-stream pitch to shareholders on Monday ahead of direct listing

Slack, the ubiquitous workplace messaging tool, will make its pitch to prospective shareholders on Monday at an invite-only event in New York City, the company confirmed in a blog post on Wednesday. Slack stock is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange as soon as next month.

Slack, which is pursuing a direct listing, will live stream Monday’s Investor Day on its website.

An alternative to an initial public offering, direct listings allow businesses to forgo issuing new shares and instead sell directly to the market existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors. Slack, like Spotify, has been able to bypass the traditional roadshow process expected of an IPO-ready business, as well as some of the exorbitant Wall Street fees.

Spotify, if you remember, similarly live streamed an event that is typically for investors eyes only. If Slack’s event is anything like the music streaming giant’s, Slack co-founder and chief executive officer Stewart Butterfield will speak to the company’s greater mission alongside several other executives.

Slack unveiled documents for a public listing two weeks ago. In its SEC filing, the company disclosed a net loss of $138.9 million and revenue of $400.6 million in the fiscal year ending January 31, 2019. That’s compared to a loss of $140.1 million on revenue of $220.5 million for the year before.

Additionally, the company said it reached 10 million daily active users earlier this year across more than 600,000 organizations.

Slack has previously raised a total of $1.2 billion in funding from investors, including Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital, SoftBank, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.