Gimlet was founded in August 2014 with the launch of its flagship podcast, hosted by Blumberg, StartUp. Originally billed as the American Podcasting Corporation (APC), Blumberg changed the company's name after working with Lexicon Branding.
The company raised $1.5 million in seed funding from investment firms Betaworks, Lowercase Capital, and Knight Enterprise Fund, and then invited the listeners to help raise the last $200,000 through crowdfunding platform Quire.
In 2015, Gimlet closed a Series A round of funding that raised $6 million, at a $30 million valuation led by Panopoly parent Graham Holdings, not long after announcing it would add the option to pay for membership. Members were given early access to pilots for new Gimlet shows, a Gimlet T-shirt, and access to the company's Slack channel. Gimlet then hired Blumberg's spouse and former Rachel Maddow Show producer Nazanin Rafsanjani to explore other ways to diversify the company's revenue. Rafsanjani spearheads Gimlet Creative, a wing of the company that "creates highly produced narrative audio in partnership with brands."
On August 2, 2017, Gimlet announced it closed a $15 million Series B investment round led by Stripes Group with Emerson Collective, Graham Holdings, Betaworks, and Cross Culture Investors also contributing to the round and in September, 2017, advertising firm WPP announced it was investing $5 million in Gimlet for a minority stake in the company. 
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