Mebigo Labs Pvt. Ltd, which runs audio content platform Kuku FM, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $21.8 million in its series B round led by Nandan Nilekani-led Fundamentum Partnership.
Kuku FM plans to use the fund to expand its catalogue, strengthen its content creation ecosystem and offer more language choices to listeners. The company aims to achieve a base of over 10 million paid subscribers by the end of 2023, it said in a release.
Founded in 2018 by Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal and Vinod Kumar Meena, Kuku FM is an audio listening platform with more than 1.5 million paid subscribers. According to the company, many of its users pay for educational and aspirational audio content.
“We have seen growing interest for content in regional languages in tier II and III cities, semi-urban and rural segments. We aim to continue building a strong and diverse creator network that caters to this segment of the Bharat audience,” said Lal Chand Bisu, co-founder and chief executive, Kuku FM.
For content creators, the company provides content creation tools, enabling them to create, develop and post content on the platform. The platform has expanded its language offerings to include content in seven Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
“The India-digitization story has opened up opportunities across sectors. The content ecosystem has particularly benefitted from rapid growth in internet users…Kuku FM’s digital-first, tech-led approach, with its focus on the ‘Bharat’ audience, fits ideally into our investment focus.,” said Prateek Jain, principal at Fundamentum Partnership.
Kuku FM marks Fundamentum’s first investment from the recently launched second fund. In August, Fundamentum announced that it raised $227 million for its second early-growth stage fund.
In 2022, this is the second fundraiser for Kuku FM. Earlier in the year, Kuku FM raised $19.5 million led by Krafton and Google. Verlinvest and other investors had also participated in the round.
Kuku FM currently hosts more than 150,000 hours of content in various formats including audiobooks, stories, book summaries, courses, and podcasts. The company claims that a majority of the content is exclusive to the platform.
Kuku FM’s offering covers a wide range of genres including fiction and non-fiction audiobooks, personal finance, self-help education titles, entertainment, news, mythology, spirituality, learning and inspirational content, among others.