[Funding alert] Audio OTT startup Pocket FM raises $22.4M in Series B; targets 100M users in next 6 months

Last October, Tencent Holdings led a $5.6 million (Rs 41 crore) Series A round in Pocket FM through its Amsterdam-based unit Tencent Cloud Europe.
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Audio OTT app Pocket FM on Monday said it has raised $22.4 million in a Series B funding round led by Lightspeed, Times Group and Tanglin Venture Partners, among others.

The startup said it will use the funding to scale up its operations, increase its presence across geographies, invest in tech, and build a community of content creators.

Pocket FM had earlier raised $5.6 million in its Series A round from Tencent.

"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 of the startup.

The OTT platform has seen over 40 million downloads, three billion monthly listening minutes, and claims that users spend more than 110 minutes daily on the app.

The Gurugram-based startup was founded in 2018 by Rohan, Nishanth Srinivas, and Prateek Dixit — all of whom had built and scaled mobile-based content products during their past stints at Paytm, JioSaavn, Flipkart, and Grofers.

Pocket FM went from 10,000 to 1 crore app downloads in a year

The audio-sharing platform offers a selection of 10,000+ audiobooks, podcasts, radio shows, and user-generated spoken word content in Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi, with eight more languages coming up.

It has over 100,000 hours of exclusive audio programming across genres such as crime, horror, romance, self-help, astrology, biography, etc.

"Pocket FM is a pioneer in the audio OTT space in India, and their approach towards democratising audio content creation is a game-changer," Sankalp Gupta, Partner, Tanglin Venture Partners, said.

Over the last 18 months, the startup has seen phenomenal growth, mainly due to heightened entertainment consumption during the lockdown months. Pocket FM went from 10,000 to one crore downloads, and became the #1 app in the ‘Music and Audio’ category on Google Play Store in May this year.

In February 2021, the startup raised $24,000 from angel investor Haresh Chawla. It said it intends to surpass 100 million users in the next six months.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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