Indian audio over-the-top (OTT) app Pocket FM has raised $22.4 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Lightspeed. Times Group and Tanglin Ventures also participated in the round.
Founded in 2018 by Rohan Nayak, Nishant KS and Prateek Dixit, Pocket FM is an online marketplace that offers long-form audio content including audio shows, stories, novels and podcasts. It offers more than 100,000 hours of content across various genres from more than 17,000 writers and voice artists creating content in eight languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla, English, Kannada and Marathi.
The freshly funds capital will be used to scale up operations and build a larger content creator community while increasing presence across geographies. The startup will also invest in technology for better recommendation algorithms.
“We are building a robust ecosystem for Audio OTT with Pocket FM and its largest community of content creators. We are at a juncture where both Pocket FM and the overall audio OTT space are witnessing exponential growth,” said Rohan Nayak, co-founder and CEO of Pocket FM.
The India audio OTT market was forecast to be worth $600 Mn in 2021 and is projected to grow up to $1.1 Bn in the next four years and $2.5 Bn by 2030.
“Pocket FM is a pioneer in the audio OTT space in India, and their approach towards democratising audio content creation is a game-changer. The company’s stellar growth trajectory, user engagement, and retention are a testament of the consumer’s love for Pocket FM’s product,” said Sankalp Gupta, Partner, Tanglin Venture Partners.
According to a Deloitte report, podcasts could be a $3.3 Bn business by 2025, and according to KPMG, India is the third-largest podcast-listening market in the world. India’s podcast landscape hosts more than 40 multilingual podcast companies including Tencent-backed Pratilipi, Fosun RZ-backed Headfone, IVM Podcasts and Suno India among many others.