Gurugram-based Pocket FM, which operates an eponymous audioshows platform, has secured Rs 168 crore, or $22.4 million, in its Series B round of funding led by its existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Tanglin Venture Partners, a venture capital fund floated by former Tiger Global executives, also participated in the round with other investors.
Pocket FM plans to use the funds primarily to build the largest community of content creators, increase its presence across geographies, invest in technology for better recommendations and strengthen the overall audio OTT category globally, the company said in a statement on Monday.
“We are at a juncture where both Pocket FM and the overall audio OTT space are witnessing exponential growth. Audio storytelling has now become a mainstream content format for entertainment and our mission is to build Pocket FM as a global entertainment service provider,” said Rohan Nayak, co-founder and CEO at Pocket FM.
Founded by IIT-Kharagpur graduates Nayak and Nishanth Srinivas, Pocket FM is an online marketplace for audioshows and podcasts. Operated by Delhi-based Pocket Fm Pvt Ltd, it claims to be offering over 1 lakh hours of enriching long-format content. Within three years of its inception, the firm is said to have registered over 40 million downloads, 3 billion monthly listening minutes, and more than 110 minutes being spent by users daily on the app.
“The team has constantly innovated ahead of the curve, with multiple language offerings for their short and long form audio content and in becoming the go-to destination for audio content creators,” said Harsha Kumar, partner at Lightspeed.
“The company’s stellar growth trajectory, user engagement, and retention are a testament of the consumer’s love for Pocket FM’s product,” said Sankalp Gupta, Partner, Tanglin Venture Partners.
The company raised nearly $5.6 million from Tencent Cloud Europe, a unit of Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings, along with venture capital firm Lightspeed India in its Series A round of funding in October last year.
Pocket FM intends to surpass 100 million users in next six months. It currently works with a thriving community of over 17,000 PUGC(professional user generated content) writers and voice artists.
In February last year, Kuku FM, which operates in the same space as Pocket FM, raised $5.5 million in a Series A round led by venture capital firm Vertex Ventures, an arm of Singapore headquartered Temasek Holdings. In October 2019, audio streaming platform Dose FM was acquired by tax filing and investment platform ClearTax to help the latter build mobile-focused products for small businesses.
In July 2019, social audio platform Headfone raised $750,000 in a seed funding round led by Fosun RZ Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese business conglomerate Fosun Group.