Last year, the startup exceeded $25 Mn annualised revenue run-rate
Pocket FM will use the funds to augment creator base and strengthen its content library
Total investment bagged by Pocket FM reached to $109.5 Mn including this debt funding round
Audio OTT platform Pocket FM has bagged a debt funding of $16 Mn from Silicon Valley Bank. The fresh funds will be used for expanding its audio library, augmenting its creator community and accelerating revenue.
Commenting on the investment in Pocket FM, Chris Cameron, senior vice president at Silicon Valley Bank stated that the startup has an innovative vision of storytelling that is helping it to secure a position as a mainstream OTT platform.
Further, Anurag Sharma, vice president- Finance, Pocket FM said that the startup is thankful to the bank for showing confidence in its growth metrics.
Founded in 2018 by Nishanth KS, Prateek Dixit, and Rohan Nayak, Pocket FM exceeded $25 Mn annualised revenue run-rate (ARR) last year, eyeing at $100 Mn ARR by 2023.
As per the company, its listener base counts more than 80 Mn who are spending 110 minutes on an average everyday in listening to Pocket FM’s contents. In 2022 Pocket FM recorded more than 45 Bn minutes of streaming. Besides English, the startup also caters to the Indian audience in regional languages which are in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, and Marathi.
Till last year, the total investment raised by Pocket FM was $93.5 Mn from investors such as Lightspeed, Goodwater Capital, Tanglin Venture Partners, Naver, Times Internet, Tencent and more. This fresh debt funding takes its total fundraise to $109.5 Mn.
According to an Inc42 report, the startup’s net loss widened 10X to INR 171.6 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) from INR 17.1 Cr in FY21. Pocket FM’s operating revenue grew 11.3X to INR 17 Cr in FY22 from INR 1.5 Cr in FY21. Additionally, the promotional expenses grew 13.9X to INR 128 Cr in FY22 from INR 9.22 Cr in FY21, with the employee benefits expenses growing to 7X to INR 29.2 Cr from INR 4.2 Cr in FY21.
Last year, Pocket FM approached the Delhi HC on copyrights issues with another audio OTT platform Kuku FM, claiming that the latter had aired summaries of certain stories which were earlier licenced by the former. However, Kuku FM settled the issues with Pocket FM.
The competition in the Indian OTT market is stiff for both audio and audio visual platforms. By December 2022, India recorded about 423 Mn OTT users.