Pocket FM, an audio-streaming company, has raised $65 million in Series C funding led by Goodwater Capital, South Korean internet company Naver and existing investor Tanglin Venture Partners.
A total of $93.6 million has been raised from investors such as Lightspeed, Tencent, Times Group, and Tanglin Venture Partners. The company announced the latest fundraising of $22.4 million in Series B funding in December last year.
Rohan Nayak CEO of Pocket FM said, “This is a validation of four market leadership and trust in our execution capabilities. Audio consumption has been seen exponential growth over the last year, and we are on a mission to build the largest audio OTT platforms”.
Founded in 2018 by Nayak, Nishanth Srinivas, and Prateek Dixit, Pocket FM says it provides more than 100,000 hours of long-format audio content across audiobooks, shows, stories, novels, podcasts and knowledge shows in English and seven Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, and Marathi. It claims to have a creator community of over 50,000 professional user-generated content (PUGC) writers and voice artists.
Pocket FM was founded in collaboration with Nayak, Prateek Dixit and Nishanth Srinivas in 2018. It is available in English and seven Indian languages, over 100,000 hours long in audiobooks, videos, stories, novels, podcasts and news formats. Claims to provide audio content. Includes Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada and Marathi. It claims to have a network of over 50,000 experienced PUGC (User Generated Content) authors and speakers.
According to the startup, which is based in Gurugram plans to use the raised funds to improve the platform’s offerings, expand into new languages, invest in artificial intelligence capabilities, expand its community of audio content creators, and help them monetize its content.
Currently, there is an annual subscription service priced at Rs 399 per year. There is also a free ad-supported version with a limited content catalogue. The company said that users spend more than 110 minutes each day using the app.
Nishanth KS, Cofounder of Pocket FM said, “In addition to audio entertainment, we saw 12x growth in consumption of self-help books, audio courses. Users are looking for high-quality knowledge content to up-skill themselves. With this investment, we are looking to grow our creator community further, and target 5 million paying users in the next 12 months”.
Those who prefer the premium service can enjoy ad-free listening, audiobooks, and podcasts from a wide range of publishers while those who opt for the free service can hope to enjoy a diverse selection of stories. Lastly, Scott Shiao, Director, Investment at Good water Capital said, “Pocket FM empowers audio creators around the world in crafting the best long-form audio content, from writing to voice acting, while also providing a channel for consumers to find and discover that content. We look forward to helping Pocket FM to continue to grow its platform.”