Audio platformhas raised $21.8 million in a Series B1 round of funding led by Nandan Nilekani-backed The Fundamentum Partnership.
This round also saw the participation of Paramark, KRAFTON Inc, 3one4 Capital, Vertex, Verlinvest, and FounderBank Capital. In March this year, it had raised $19.5 million led by KRAFTON, with participation from Google, Verlinvest, and other investors.
Kuku FM will deploy the funds to expand its catalogue, strengthen its content creation ecosystem, and offer more language choices on its platform.
Founded in 2018 by Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal and Vinod Kumar Meena, Kuku FM has 1.6 million paid subscribers. It aims to reach 10 million paid subscribers by 2023.
Kuku FM co-founder and CEO Lal Chand Bisu said, “We have seen rapidly growing interest for 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.”
Kuku FM provides audio content across seven languages—Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu, and Bengali. It started with Hindi and ventured into other languages only in January this year.
This startup has witnessed 25X growth in its active subscriber base and its subscription plans include Rs 99 per month and Rs 399 per annum.
On the investment into Kuku FM, Prateek Jain, Principal, 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, strong monetisation model, and a national creator-listener community.”
Kuku FM finds maximum traction from its subscribers on topics such as personal finance, motivation, self-help and learning. It plans to expand into newer categories going forward.
Kuku FM hosts 150,000+ hours of content in various formats including audiobooks, stories, book summaries, courses, and podcasts, with a majority of the content being exclusive to the platform.