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Castro is now part of Tiny

Posted by Padraig on Nov 25, 2018

We have some news to share. Tiny has purchased a majority stake in Castro. We are still shareholders and will continue working on the app full time.

Tiny Logo and Castro app icon on blue background

Who is Tiny?

Tiny owns a range of companies you’ve probably heard of, like Dribbble and Flow. It was founded by Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling. Andrew previously founded MetaLab, a design agency who worked on many high profile projects: they designed Slack from the ground up. Chris served as MetaLab’s CFO until 2015 when he left to start Tiny with Andrew.

You can read more about their investment approach and philosophy on their website and in this Medium post.

Tiny felt like a good partner for a few reasons:

  • Andrew and Chris want to build profitable companies, not pump them up and flip them.
  • They have a good track record. As majority owners of Dribbble they’ve helped it grow and become more successful without compromising the product.
  • During our negotiations, they were sincere and candid. We’ve been through drawn out negotiations with potential partners before, and this was a much better experience.
  • They’re in Victoria, BC, far away from the Silicon Valley bubble.
  • They have no interest in micromanaging our day-to-day work. They’ll help shape the vision and roadmap but then we’ll have the space to get it done in our own way.

Why sell Castro?

Castro has reached a size where the demands of running the business have been pulling us in too many different directions. We haven’t been able to focus as much on the core work of designing and building a product. Selling to Tiny gets Castro access to more resources, contacts and expertise. By growing the team we can specialize our roles to be more focused individually and get more done collectively. We can get back to what we’re good at and what we love doing.

The podcasting industry has been consolidating lately. WNYC bought Pocket Casts this year, Anchor is backed by VC investment, Google launched a podcast app for Android, and Apple is paying much more attention to podcasts than before. We want Castro to stay relevant and we want to keep having an influence on the direction podcasting takes.

What’s Next?

We’ve started work on Castro 4. The plan is to improve the design to bring more listeners into the Castro flow. We’re excited, because for the first time in five years of work on Castro, we’ll have the resources to focus exclusively on it as product designers and developers, without contract work to distract us, and with a team around us to handle the administrative tasks.

FAQ

What happens to Supertop?

Castro is owned by Tiny but Supertop is still the name of Oisín and Pádraig’s collaboration. We’re shareholders and full time employees of Tiny now, so Supertop will be a bit quieter.

Will you keep podcasting?

Yep. Our next episode will be about the acquisition.

I have another question

We realize that this is a big change and that many Castro listeners may have concerns — here are our direct emails if you’d like to talk with either of us: padraig@castro.fm, oisin@castro.fm.

We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has brought us this far. We think this is the right direction and that together with Tiny we will take Castro to a place we couldn’t have gotten alone.