Please welcome Sonoro, a global entertainment company creating premium, audio-first content in English, Spanish, and Spanglish
Meet Sonoro, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.
HQ: Los Angeles
Co-founders: Joshua Weinstein, Camila Victoriano, Gerónimo Ávila
The problem: Consumer demand for streaming and audio content is higher than ever, and we’re seeing mass-market consumption of international entertainment, regardless of its language or country of origin. At the same time, the fast-growing Latinx population is booming and reshaping culture and business in the U.S., presenting huge market opportunity. In the U.S., the Latinx population represents a quarter of millennials, more than half of population growth, and $1.7 trillion in spending power. They’re also early adopters of emerging technologies, streaming services, and media in both English and Spanish. And yet, stories that center Latinx characters and communities are few and far between, and supply of premium, bilingual and relevant content targeted toward these massive populations has not kept up with demand.
Sonoro’s solution: Sonoro empowers Latinx creators and storytellers with a global suite of premium, audio-first content. The company flips the traditional Hollywood business model by helping to cultivate the future change-makers and leaders of the entertainment industry. They’re building a global content machine, which marries data-driven, responsive content, with cultivation of Latinx and global Hispanic storytellers and consumers. And today, they’re releasing the first three episodes of “Princess of South Beach,” a 36-episode audio telenovela that was written, directed, sound engineered, and cast in both English and Spanish. Its English/Spanglish-language cast stars Hollywood figures including Rachel Zegler, Gina Torres, Danny Pino, and Raúl Esparza. This series is just the first in a slate of podcasts they’ve announced with iHeartMedia’s My Cultura network.
Origin story: In 2020, Sonoro’s team of 100% bilingual and bicultural executives came together from organizations including the Walt Disney Company, the Los Angeles Times, and Gimlet Media. Today, Sonoro has a team of 45 across creative, business, and production teams stationed in Los Angeles, New York, and Mexico City. In fewer than 18 months, they’ve built the #1 podcast network in Latin America, launched several #1 global hits, and secured partnerships and co-branded imprints that have reached millions of listeners around the world.
Why we’re betting on it: At Lerer Hippeau, we have a long history of investing in emerging media companies. As operators ourselves, many of us have worked in media. We know that consumers crave original, premium content like Sonoro’s, and we’ve seen success in the audio space with our past investments in Wondery and Meet Cute. Globally, Latinx over-index for content consumption across all media — and Sonoro’s bilingual and bicultural content is accessible to the over 500 million Spanish-speakers across the world. Sonoro’s content isn’t niche — it’s poised for the mainstream. Furthermore, Sonoro’s early traction with leading talent and top-tier partnerships confirms our hunch that the company has the right team building the right product.
Our take: Sonoro’s content is already gaining tremendous popularity in the U.S., and among Spanish-speakers around the world. Their shows are good and people are listening. But audio is only the tip of the iceberg: Sonoro is creating lasting stories, and generating a massive volume of intellectual property. We’re especially excited about the company’s opportunities to transcend podcasting and franchise content across mediums — creating impact on culture in more ways than one and reaching new audiences.
Further listening: “Princess of South Beach” via iHeart