Odyssey Eyes 100 Million Users

Sep12, 2016

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An idea hatched by two Indiana University students to “democratize the media business” has quickly grown into one of the nation’s fastest growing social media platforms for Millennials and is showing no signs of slowing down. Indianapolis-based Odyssey has amassed more than 14,000 content creators and uses proprietary “relevance engine” technology to match users with the content they want. “We’re essentially taking real people out of communities and helping provide them tools so they can be heard and their voice can be part of a local, regional or national dialogue,” said co-founder Evan Burns.

Burns talked about the company’s growth and what he described as the benefits of being headquartered in Indiana during an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television.

Burns, who grew up in Jasper, and Evansville native Adrian France came up with the idea for Odyssey while they were students at IU. Their premise was that content being generated in traditional media centers like New York and Los Angeles was increasingly not relevant to them and their peers and a vast part of the country.

Odyssey launched in 2014 and has quickly attracted users and funding.

Burns says the company has raised more than $33 million, including a $25 million round this spring led by noted entrepreneur Michael Lazerow and Columbus Nova managing partner Jason Epstein.

Last November, the company announced an expansion and plans to add 90 jobs.

The site currently generates more than 30 million unique users monthly, but Burns says the capital infusion will fuel an aggressive growth plan. “We have our eyes set on 100 million users as fast as we can, so that’s exciting, both domestically and starting to do some international,” said Burns.

Odyssey currently has about 180 employees, 60 at its Broad Ripple headquarters, the rest in offices that include New York, Los Angeles and Austin.

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