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Audio OTT Startup Pocket FM Bags $65 Mn To Introduce New Languages

Goodwater Capital, Naver, and Tanglin Venture Partners led the Series C round of funding

Pocket FM will use the infused capital to introduce AI and expand its creator community

It targets to cross 100 Mn total users and 5 Mn paying users soon

Indian audio over-the-top (OTT) platform Pocket FM has raised $65 Mn in a Series C funding round led by Goodwater Capital, Naver, and Tanglin Venture Partners, an existing investor.

The startup will use the funds to expand into new languages, introduce AI capabilities to the app, and scale up its existing audio creator community.

Nishanth KS, cofounder and COO of Pocket FM said, “With this investment, we are looking to grow our creator community further, be the biggest audio destination for entertainment and knowledge, and target 5 Mn paying users in the next 12 months.”

Founded in 2018 by Rohan Nayak, Prateek Dixit, and Nishanth KS, Pocket FM offers audio content in the form of long-format content, audio shows, stories, novels, and podcasts.

The app hosts more than 100,000 hours of content and enlists the talents of more than 50,000 writers and voice actors, creating content in eight languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla, English, Kannada and Marathi.

Back in December, it only had about 17,000 creators and VAs, therefore, the startup has almost tripled its creator community and is planning to expand on it even further. Pocket FM also offers a separate app for its creators for better content management.

The startup currently has more than 50 Mn users and aims to surpass the 100-Mn-mark within the next few months, targeting to reach more than 5 Mn paying users within the next 12 months.

Previously, in December 2021, Pocket FM had raised $22.4 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Lightspeed, with Times Group and Tanglin Ventures also participating in the round.

The startup snagged the latest funding within just three months, totalling the raised amount to $87.5 Mn in the process.

The India audio OTT market was forecast to be worth $600 Mn in 2021, according to a Statista report, and will grow up to $1.1 Bn by 2025, and to $2.5 Bn by 2030.

A RedSeer report called India’s podcast market ‘the largest in the world’, with 1% of the total time spent by Indians on online entertainment accounted for by podcasts.

With pure podcast players such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Audible Suno, and multimedia audio OTT platforms such as Pocket FM, Spotify, Khabri, and Headfone, the Indian audio OTT market is highly competitive, with more than 95 Mn monthly average users (MAUs).

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