Gurugram-based Indian Audio OTT platform Pocket FM has raised $65 million in Series C funding led by Goodwater Capital, South Korean internet giant Naver and existing investor Tanglin Venture Partners.
The fresh funding will expand into new languages, invest in technology, scale the creator community, and help creators monetize on the platform.
“We are announcing our series C funding. 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,” Rohan Nayak, co-founder and CEO, Pocket FM, said.
To date, the startup has raised a total of $93.6 million from investors such as Lightspeed, Tencent, Times Group, and Tanglin Venture Partners.
“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.
An app that made India listen
Founded in 2018 by Nayak, Nishanth Srinivas, and Prateek Dixit, Pocket FM claims to provide more than 100,000 hours of long-format audio content across audiobooks, shows, stories, novels, podcasts and knowledge shows.
The content is available in English and seven Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, and Marathi. The app claims to have a creator community of over 50,000 professional user-generated content (PUGC) writers and voice artists.
“In addition to audio entertainment, we saw a 12 times growth in consumption of self-help books, audio courses. Users are looking for high-quality knowledge content to up-skill themselves,” said Nishanth KS, co-founder and COO, Pocket FM.
“With this investment, we are looking to grow our creator community further, be the biggest audio destination for entertainment and knowledge, and target five million paying users in the next 12 months,” added Nishant.
The service is available through an annual subscription priced at Rs 399 per year. It also offers a free ad-supported version with a limited content catalog. In December, the company had said that users spend more than 110 minutes daily on the app.
“Pocket FM, with its creator-first platform, is aiming to lead this wave of growth in the audio OTT space and fuel the next generation of entertainment experiences,” said Yong Jung (YJ) Park, investment director, Naver Corporation commented.
“We’re partnering with them in the entertainment and content market as they build a robust audio ecosystem for audiences and creators alike and to support the company in its next chapter of growth,” added YongJung.