• | 4:15 pm

LightSpeed leads $103 million funding round in Pocket FM

Audio platform said it aims to deploy the fresh funds to expand in the US market and enter the European and Latin American markets

LightSpeed leads $103 million funding round in Pocket FM
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Pocket FM, an India-based audio entertainment startup, has raised $103 million in a fresh funding round led by Lightspeed and StepStone Group, the company said.

The audio platform said it aims to deploy the fresh funds to expand in the US market and also enter the European and Latin American markets this year.

The company said it will continue to strengthen its exclusive content library and create a strong IP playbook by providing the writer community a stage to share their unique stories.

Since launching in 2018,  Pocket FM has focused on providing stories in audio format that are released in a series, similar to episodes in a TV series. This approach to storytelling allows listeners to follow a story over multiple episodes.

“We identified an unexplored space in the entertainment industry driven by an increasing demand for audio fiction and crafted a playbook to address this opportunity across every key market,” said Rohan Nayak, chief executive and co-founder of Pocket FM.

Pocket FM offers a wide variety of content that can cater to the diverse tastes of its audience, possibly through algorithms that recommend content based on listening habits.

The firm has built one of the largest repositories of exclusive audio series with more than 100,000 hours of content, including about 2,000 exclusive audio series and more than 400,000 episodes across genres and languages.

“Our robust content library of audio series and a strong consumption behavior on the platform is shaping the future of entertainment. Our focus remains on tapping into unique and exclusive stories to solidify our leadership in this emerging category and create a strong IP playbook,” Nayak said.

The company reported that its total annual revenue from its recurring sources, such as subscriptions, now exceeds $150 million, adding that it has clocked over 20 million transactions in 2023.

Globally, listeners spend an average of over 115 minutes daily. In 2023 alone, the platform saw over 75 billion minutes of streaming worldwide.

The company entered the US in the final quarter of 2022 and its revenue from that market has surpassed $100 million.

“What sets Pocket FM apart is its vision to set up a sustainable and profitable business, backed by its unique pricing strategy. It emerges as a great reference for the entertainment landscape, with its capability to demonstrate strong unit economics,” said Harsha Kumar, partner at Lightspeed.

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