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MDIF invests in Africa-based podcasting company, Volume

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

In a move to bolster media innovation in Southern Africa, Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) has invested in South African podcasting company Volume. MDIF is a not-for-profit investment fund providing loan and equity financing to independent media companies that that provide the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies. Volume produces socially conscious branded podcasts for impact-driven organizations like Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Internews and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

The deal comes after years of collaboration between MDIF and Volume. In 2017, Volume was one of the first start-ups to join the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP), an MDIF initiative seeking to accelerate innovation and sustainability among independent media in South Africa. Volume had previously been part of the first cohort of Jamlab fellows at the Tshimologong Technology and Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg in 2017.

“The SAMIP team is proud to be part of Volume’s journey. We’ve seen them grow, adapt and innovate to become a serious player in the audio space,” said SAMIP’s Program Manager, Bilal Randeree.

Over the past four years, Volume has become a leader in podcast production in South Africa and abroad, and has produced more than 20 local and international podcast series. These include the award-winning South African investigative podcast Alibi, the ground-breaking WhatsApp voice-note series about misinformation What’s Crap on WhatsApp?, and the globe-spanning series on digital rights, Kill Switch. Volume’s latest release is Too Many Enemies, an investigation into the assassination of South African billionaire Wandile Bozwana.

Volume’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Paul McNally, said: “Volume aims to be the number one impact-led audio production company in Africa. We strive to bring awareness to social and environmental issues, tell stories with integrity, inspire meaningful action, and deliver the truth through audio content. Our distribution strategies are designed to reach those who have adopted podcasting in their media consumption habits, as well as those new to the medium. We applaud MDIF for amplifying our vision and impact.”

Roland Perold, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, said that the investment will boost the company’s efforts to develop the business and increase its market penetration. According to Perold, Volume has been “hugely successful with reaching its clients through word of mouth, but in order to scale and grow our business, we need to be more proactive in sourcing clients and building out our offerings. The investment will enable us to do so, and we are beyond excited to enter this next phase of growth.”

For more information contact Peter Whitehead, MDIF Director of Communications, peter.whitehead@mdif.org

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