[Funding alert] Kuku FM raises $19.5M in Series B round led by KRAFTON
Audio content platformon Thursday announced it has raised $19.5 million in Series B funding led by South Korean gaming giant KRAFTON, Inc.
The round had participation from its existing investors including 3one4 Capital, Vertex Ventures, and India Quotient, with Founder Bank Capital and Verlinvest joining as new investors.
With this latest round of funding, Kuku FM has secured a total of $25 million since its inception in 2018. It will use the funds raised through this investment to broaden its language offerings and consolidate content creation, fuelling its existing offerings.
In October, YourStory reported that the startup was in initial stages of raising its Series B round, anywhere between $15 million and $20 million, as per one of the two sources, with participation from India Quotient and Vertex Ventures. However, at the time, YourStory was unable to establish the lead investor in the round.
Lal Chand Bisu, Co-founder & CEO, Kuku FM said “Kuku FM is pioneering a new category for audio content by bringing premium, unique, and immersive digital audio experiences to our users. We have seen an unprecedented consumption of audio content amongst users in our country with 70 percent users coming from Tier II cities. We are excited to witness the evolution of this genre."
“We have great synergy of vision with KRAFTON and are thrilled to have them onboard as an integral investing partner. With this momentum, we are confident about hitting 10 million active paid users by the end of this year and 50 million paid users by 2025,” he added.
Kuku FM was founded in 2018 by former IITians and Toppr executives Lal Chand Bisu, Vinod Meena, and Vikas Goyal. It is a curated platform where users, most of whom hail from Tier II and III cities, create audio content in Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati, and Tamil, among other regional languages.
Kuku FM hosts 150,000 hours of content across audiobooks, stories, book summaries, courses, and podcasts on its platform, covering a wide range of genres from fiction and nonfiction audiobooks, self-help education titles, entertainment, news, mythology, spirituality, learning and inspirations, stories, poems, and even jingles.
With 30,000 creators, 50 percent of the content on Kuku FM is exclusive to the platform and only available on Kuku FM.
Commenting on the investment, Sean Hyunil Sohn, Head of India Division at KRAFTON, Inc. said,
“We are very excited to partner with Kuku FM and support them in their journey of building a strong creator and listener ecosystem which continues to grow at an amazing pace creating many unique local IPs. Here at KRAFTON Inc., we strongly believe that Indian IPs and regional Indian languages content growth will unlock the next big monetisation opportunity not just in India but even globally in the long term, and the Kuku FM team is best placed to capture this opportunity in the audio category.”
This is the second investment of KRAFTON, Inc in India for this year. Earlier today, it had participated in gaming platform Loco's Series A fundraise, where the streaming platform raised $42 million.