Mumbai based-audio streaming start-up Kuku FM has announced that they have raised $21.8 million in series B1 funding. The Series B1 round was led by The Fundamentum Partnership. The new investors such as Paramark Ventures along with existing investors KRAFTON, Inc, 3one4 Capital, Vertex, Verlinvest and FounderBank Capital also participated in the round.
The Fundamentum partnership is owned by the co-founder of Infosys and chairman of UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani. Earlier this year in March, Kuku FM received $19.5 Mn in funding from KRAFTON, making it two fundings in 2022.
The latest cash injection will be used to expand the firm's catalogue, strengthen its content creation ecosystem by hiring new talents and offer more language choices to listeners, especially the 'Bharat' audience.
Prateek Jain, Principal at Fundamentum Partnership, said, "The India-digitisation story has opened up opportunities across sectors. The content ecosystem has particularly benefited from rapid growth in internet users. In its 4-year journey, Kuku FM has built a business with robust fundamentals, a strong monetisation model and a national creator-listener community."
Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal and Vinod Kumar Meena founded the firm in 2018. By 2022, Kuku FM has expanded its language offerings to include content in seven Indian languages- Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. It also aims to achieve 10 million paid subscribers by the end of 2023.
“We’ve been impressed with the rapid trajectory of Kuku FM’s growing subscriber base. We believe that the team has taken a lead in content monetization by serving unmet demands of the Bharat audience for locally-created content and building meaningful consumption habits that translate into paid subscriptions,” said Chunsoo Kim, founder and managing partner at Paramark Ventures.
Lal Chand Bisu, Co-founder and CEO said, "Its [Kuku FM] growth has demonstrated the Indian audience’s appetite for premium, unique, and immersive digital audio experiences. We have seen rapidly growing interest in content in regional languages in tier II and III cities, semi-urban and rural segments. We aim to continue building a strong and diverse creator network that caters to this segment of the Bharat audience."