Antler US portfolio company Casting Depot, the professional network for media and entertainment, is emerging as the industry’s premier marketplace for all facets of the talent booking process. Co-founders Lacey Kaelani and Brad Larson have led Casting Depot through a 446% month over month increase in talent user growth. The Casting Depot team is working with Antler to drive user traction and refine their product offering as they field casting calls from industry players like Netflix, HBOMax, Twitch, Bumble, Verizon, and MTV.
Lacey recognized the market opportunity for Casting Depot as she struggled to consistently source talent as a casting agent. “The major networks don’t recognize that their casting teams don’t have tools to do their jobs efficiently. Everyone from major networks to small content creators overspends on casting, which is the problem right there: how do we empower all creators with the right tools?”
Increased demand for original content exacerbates these inefficiencies in talent sourcing. It is anticipated that Netflix will spend more than $17 billion on original content in 2020 alone; the recently folded Quibi poured $1 billion into its original short-form content. Despite this growth, discovery in the entertainment industry is outdated: opportunities live across multiple offline and online platforms, recruiting and processing talent payroll remain painfully expensive, and standardized legal documents aren’t integrated with talent bookings.
Casting Depot directly addresses this inefficient media-placement by offering a complete end-to-end workflow process solution for entertainment and uses social media as a talent discovery tool. Casting directors and companies now can process payroll and access legal documentation like NDAs, incentives, and talent agreements to support talent booking on Casting Depot. This functionality accommodates an increasingly wide variety of postings submitted to the platform that call for all types of positions, not just talent. “By dropping the gates, we make it easy for everyone to have access to the media,” says Lacey. “Casting Depot is the go to network for creators and talent to engage and source gigs across entertainment.”
Lacey and Brad, a technologist and serial entrepreneur with a successful exit under his belt, are working rapidly with Antler to develop the Casting Depot offering. “Antler has been a big backbone for us at Casting Depot as we go through our launch and iterate on our product,” Lacey explains. “The team is incredibly hands on. We feel lucky that they’ve helped us navigate our big shifts and been our hype team to provide confidence and foundational support as we quickly shift our strategy and operations to address market needs.”