Podfund Invests in Audio Fiction Studio Atypical Artists (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Atypical Artists
Atypical Artists co-founders Lauren Shippen, Jordan Cope and Briggon Snow

Among the projects in the works at Atypical are a true-crime musical and a sci-fi romantic comedy.

Podcast investor Podfund has made a strategic investment in audio fiction studio Atypical Artists.

The deal comes as Atypical, the year-and-a-half-old shingle from Lauren Shippen, Jordan Cope and Briggon Snow, preps several upcoming projects, including romantic comedy Life with Leo(h) and musical In Strange Woods. Podfund and Atypical aren't disclosing the terms of the deal, but Podfund general manager Nicola Korzenko says the company's investments typically range between $25,000 and $100,000.

Shippen, Atypical's CEO, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the partnership "is about making really quality podcasts for these amazing stories that Atypical has fallen in love with, that we want the rest of the world to fall in love with as well." Atypical will use the investment to fund new shows from its in-house talent and its network of up-and-coming podcasters.

A longtime podcaster, Shippen is best known for her work creating science fiction podcast The Bright Sessions, which ran for four seasons until 2018. She teamed up with Cope, a producer with editing and directing experience, and Snow, an actor with a background in partnerships and digital marketing, to launch Atypical in 2019. Atypical began talking with Podfund about a deal last fall. "The more I got to know Lauren, the more excited I was about building a business relationship," Korzenko says.

The novel coronavirus pandemic hit as they were finalizing the deal. Shippen says having the funding locked in allows Atypical to continue to take big swings, even as the industry adjusts to changing consumption behaviors and a softer ad market. "We're a young company, let's take big risks while we're young," she says. 

Atypical Artists currently has more than a dozen shows in active development, including Bright Sessions spinoff The College Tapes, which will launch on Luminary in the fall. Life with Leo(h) hails from writer Octavia Bray (The AM Archives) and tells the story of a lawyer and the illegal android in love with her. For true-crime musical In Strange Woods, Atypical is teaming with Brett Ryback, Matt Sav and Jeff Luppino-Esposito.

"Audio fiction is a medium that can really be a platform for voices that have a much harder time being heard in mainstream media," says Shippen, adding of Podfund, "They are a rare company that wants to really let artists make the art that they want. We feel very lucky to be partnered with them."