Vertex Ventures leads Series A round in digital audio startup Kuku FM
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Online audio platform Kuku FM has raised $5.5 million (approximately Rs 39.17 crore at current exchange rates) in its Series A funding round led by the Temasek-backed early-stage firm Vertex Ventures.

Existing investors Shunwei Capital, India Quotient and 3one4 Capital also participated in the round, Kuku FM said in a statement.

The company will use the funds to increase the number of languages on its platform, including Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, and Gujarati by the end of this year. It will also enhance its production and marketing support and acquire more creative talent.

Lal Chand Bisu, co-founder and CEO at Kuku FM, said the firm aims to democratise audio content in languages that are close to the hearts of Indians.

Separately, Vertex Ventures partner Piyush Kharbanda said the firm was confident in its investment because of the opportunity in the audio content market for regional-language users.

Kuku FM, operated by Mebigo Labs Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2018. The platform's content themes range from education, entertainment, news, mythology and spirituality to stories, poems and even jingles.

The startup says it currently has over 3,000 content creators on its platform.

Its Series A financing round comes after it raised an undisclosed sum of money in seed funding from Shunwei Capital and early-stage domestic investors India Quotient and 3one4 Capital. At the time, the company said the funds would be used to expand its content library.

Deals in the audio content segment

Kuku FM is among the companies in the audio content and streaming space that has attracted investors and strategic attention in the past few months.

In October last year, income tax return e-filing startup ClearTax acquired streaming platform Dose FM for an undisclosed amount. Dose FM, which had received seed funding in August, says it lets users create and share audio clips and shows across a variety of topics.

Also in August last year, VCCircle exclusively reported that venture capital firm Lightspeed India Partners invested in vernacular social audio platform Pocket FM Pvt. Ltd.

In July, Bengaluru-based Headfone secured $750,000 (around Rs 5.15 crore) in a seed funding round led by Fosun RZ Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International.

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