Buzzy live audio-chat startup Clubhouse has recruited Grey Munford as its head of communications, with the PR pro leaving Spotify after two years.
In an email last Friday, Munford said, “Following a wildly exciting and wonderful few years at Spotify I am packing up my virtual office (read: logging out of my company gmail) and heading down the (still virtual) road to join the team at Clubhouse.” He said he officially starts at Clubhouse this week.
At Spotify, Munford was head of content communications, overseeing the announcements of the music and audio giant’s expansion into podcasting, including deals with the Obamas, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Joe Rogan.
Before joining Spotify in March 2019, Munford spent almost nine years at CBS, most recently as VP of communications and digital marketing.
Interestingly, Munford’s now-former employer is on a course to be a rival to Clubhouse: Last month Spotify announced the acquisition of Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, a live audio app focused on sports talk. Spotify also said it plans to launch a range of new live and interactive audio programming in the next few months.
Clubhouse, launched in April 2020, has had more than 15 million app installs to date, according to research firm Sensor Tower. The “drop-in audio chat” app currently is currently only available on iOS. Clubhouse lets users host invitation-only live audio discussions with hundreds or thousands of people. “Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about,” reads the app’s iOS description.
On Sunday, the startup, whose legal name is Alpha Exploration Co., announced that it had closed a Series C round of funding (but didn’t specify the amount) led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). That gives it a $4 billion valuation, Reuters reported.
Clubhouse faces a clutch of new competitors. Twitter has launched Spaces, a Clubhouse-like feature that lets groups of people talk with each other in real time. Twitter also was looking to buy Clubhouse in a deal worth $4 billion, according to an unconfirmed Bloomberg report. And Facebook is trying tap into the hype wave with a series of “social audio” products, per a Vox report.