One of NVP’s final investments of 2020 was in Meet Cute, an audio focused media company that creates and releases short-form “feel-good” content. Meet Cute has 100+ scriptwriters today and is producing 3-5 pieces of content per week.
We initially connected with Meet Cute through Union Square Ventures. As the Founder of the company, Naomi Shah, started her career as an investor at USV. Naomi’s experience in venture capital, her expertise in the audio space, and her growing list of accomplishments as a founder have been an exciting story to follow. We asked her to help us introduce her to the NVP family, with a little Q and A, and here is what she had to say:
NVP: We love the audio space, and we have a real appreciation for content creators within audio. Tell us what attracted you to "feel-good" storytelling?
NS: Everything we do, as humans, is driven by emotions. And therefore, storytelling - which simply reflects us in various ways - should be emotion-driven. Meet Cute is actually not a podcast company, but rather a wellbeing company. We believe that feel-good stories are simply good for people. That's why we make 15-minute scripted stories that revolve around emotions including hope, joy, and gratitude. Instead of building around a fictional "genre", we are building around feelings. After 2020, perhaps we need more feeling-driven companies. As long as we continue to deliver feel-good feels, whether through our 15-minute audio stories or 30-second tik tok videos, we continue to deliver on our promise to our audience: "hope for the whole world"
NVP: From a larger audio market perspective, what types of trends do expect to see grow in 2021?
NS: Audio continues to grow as a market, even on traditionally non-audio platforms. For example, a lot of younger Netflix viewers *listen* to their favorite shows before they fall asleep, instead of watching. I would argue that Tik Tok is an audio-driven platform too. Clubhouse is another example of audio-first conversations, and this behavior already existed on Discord for gamer communities.
I expect to see more audio IP licensed and adapted to film and TV. This Deadline article highlights that the pipeline from audio to screens is already hot.
And I think we will see more and more people turn to feel-good stories as a form of meditation, where they can truly relax and escape into something even if just for 15 minutes.
NVP: What are your top 3 Meet Cute stories that we all need to hear?
NS: It's really like picking between your kids (from what I've heard, I don't even have kids yet!). My favorite stories are always those premiering right now. This week it's extra special because it's Meet Cute's first longer series of six stories called That Summer, where characters come back in new seasons and there is a continuous storyline. The cast is diverse, the sound is amazing, the story is *chef's kiss* - but I'm not biased or anything.
NVP: How did you decide to make the transition from VC to founder, and how did your experience on the other side of the table help you as you were fundraising?
You know, I wish I could say I thought about it a lot but it happened over the course of one weekend. On Friday, I was on an investment team and on Monday I was a first-time founder at the intersection of tech and entertainment. What I've carried with me from VC is something intangible. It's the ability to make decisions on very little information, or with a lot of unknown variables. Moving forward is more important than making the correct decision every time.