Pocket FM plans to expand into new languages, scale its community of audio content creators, and help those content creators monetize on the platform.
Pocket FM has secured $65 million in Series C fundraising headed by Goodwater Capital, South Korean internet behemoth Naver, and current investor Tanglin Venture Partners.
This round of investment comes roughly three months after the company received $22.4 million in Series B capital in December of last year. To far, the business has received $93.6 million in funding from investors including Lightspeed, Tencent, Times Group, and Tanglin Venture Partners.
The money received will be used by the Gurugram-based firm to develop its product, extend to additional languages, invest in artificial intelligence capabilities, scale its community of audio content makers, and assist them in monetising on the platform.
“This is a validation of our market leadership and trust in our execution capabilities. Audio consumption has seen exponential growth over the last year, and we are on a mission to build the largest audio OTT platform” said Pocket FM CEO Rohan Nayak.
Pocket FM, which was founded in 2018 by Nayak, Nishanth Srinivas, and Prateek Dixit, claims to deliver more than 100,000 hours of long-format audio material in English and seven Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, and Marathi. It claims to have over 50,000 professional user-generated content (PUGC) authors and voice artists in its creative community.
The service is offered for Rs 399 per year as an annual subscription. It also has a free ad-supported version with a restricted selection of content. The business stated in December that users spend more than 110 minutes each day on the app.
“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” said Pocket FM cofounder Nishanth KS.
Scott Shiao, Director, Investment at Goodwater 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.”