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Kuku FM Raises $25 Million In Series C Round, Plans Expansion

The vernacular audio content start-up aims to increase the depth of content across Indian languages

Kuku FM Raises $25 Million In Series C Round, Plans Expansion
POSTED ON September 20, 2023 11:14 PM

Kuku FM has secured $25 million in its Series C funding round led by the Fundamentum Partnership, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Vertex Ventures. 

The vernacular audio content start-up intends to invest this capital infusion in content and programming infrastructure. The company aims to widen the depth of content across Indian languages. Reacting to the fundraiser, CTO and co-founder of Kuku FM, Vikas Goyal said, "At Kuku FM, we strive to use cutting-edge technology to create India's most user-friendly, transparent content platform."

Before the latest fundraiser, The company's last funding round saw $21.9 million in its Series B1 funding led by the Fundamentum Partnership. Google, Paramark, KRAFTON,Inc.,3one4 Capital, V Cube Ventures, India Quotient, and FounderBank Capital have infused funds in the start-up.

With over 50 thousand content creators, the platform offers tools to create content for on the platform. It offers content in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam, as well as other seven regional languages. 

The platform claims to have 2.5 million paid subscribers with the number of creators crossing 50 thousand out of which 60 per cent are women.

CEO of the company Lal Chand Bisu said, "We are pleased to welcome International Finance Corporation as a new partner. We anticipate utilising IFC's invaluable experience and knowledge to scale up Kuku FM's operations."

IFC's country head for India, Wendy Werner, continued, "India's creative industries have the ability to engage a variety of communities and open up prospects for scalable revenue. Our collaboration with Kuku FM, a preeminent platform for vernacular radio programming, is in line with our shared goals of empowering marginalised voices, particularly those of women, and promoting sustainable economic growth.

Prateek Jain, principal, Fundamentum Partnership, stated, “Kuku FM has created a niche category which caters to the unique and rapidly evolving demands of the new digital natives of India. Moreover, Bisu and the team have demonstrated a great understanding in terms of creating a business model with a strong focus on unit economics and robust fundamentals. We are excited to be a partner in Kuku FM’s journey in building a strong national creator-listener community, with a specific focus on supporting entrepreneurs.”

The start-up has so far raised a total of $71 million in investment. It is competing with Pocket FM, IVM, and Pratilipi FM, with global platforms like Spotify and Amazon's Audible.

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