Former A+E Networks exec Andrew Kuo and ex-New York Times exec Kareem Rahma have launched a podcast company to increase stories by and about people of color in the audio sector.
The pair have launched SomeFriends, which is backed by investors including Hyphen Capital, media veteran Sean Cohan; James Cole, Jr., Board Member of AIG and CEO of The Jasco Group; and Jennifer Fitzgerald, Co-founder and CEO of Policygenius
They hope the company will be a home for original and immersive storytelling, giving underrepresented voices a platform to tell their stories.
The company is currently in production on a number of original podcasts, both fiction and non-fiction formats, that span across various genres — from comedy to thriller, to autobiographical folktales and science fiction.
Its upcoming slate of projects includes creators behind popular television shows, including Abdullah Saeed, a Pakistani-American writer who starred and wrote on HBO’s hit comedy High Maintenance, Mamoudou N’Diaye, a Mauritanian-American Muslim writer and comedian who wrote for Netflix’s Space Force, and Korean-American writer Sarah Cho, who’s currently working on Hulu drama The Girl from Plainville.
SomeFriends already has partnerships with the likes of First Look Media’s streaming service Topic, QCODE Media, SALT, and doc studio XTR.
“As podcasts continue to solidify their position as a go-to medium in entertainment, it’s imperative to amplify stories and voices that accurately reflect the diverse makeup of our country,” said Andrew Kuo, Co-founder and CEO, SomeFriends. “We celebrate our differences and unique points of view to tell authentic stories that appeal to all audiences far and wide.”
“One of the main reasons I started Hyphen Capital was to change the narrative around Asian American founders,” said Dave Lu, Managing Partner at Hyphen Capital. “We invested in SomeFriends because they’re building a platform for underrepresented voices to be heard, which is something the entertainment industry needs right now. By creating content that represents the perspectives of people of color, audiences can see themselves and that’s extremely powerful.”
“We’re excited to partner with incredible talent and bring their stories to life. We know this talent pool is deep and also eager for a home that will support their creativity,” added Kareem Rahma, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, SomeFriends. “Putting authentic voices at the helm of these podcasts is paramount to delivering entertaining stories and we look forward to using our storytelling to build community over time.”
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