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Business News/ Companies / Pocket FM rings in its largest fundraise with a $103-million round
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Pocket FM rings in its largest fundraise with a $103-million round

The audio entertainment platform’s valuation has nearly doubled in the latest fundraise led by Lightspeed Ventures

Pocket FM plans to use the money raised in its latest fundraising round to strengthen its presence in the US as well as to expand to Europe and Latin America. Premium
Pocket FM plans to use the money raised in its latest fundraising round to strengthen its presence in the US as well as to expand to Europe and Latin America.

BENGALURU:Audio entertainment platform Pocket FM has raised $103 million in its Series D funding—its largest yet—providing more evidence of the funding freeze easing up for startups demonstrating a clear path to growth.

The company’s valuation has nearly doubled in the latest fundraise, to about $750 million from $390 million when it previously raised $65 million in its Series C round in March 2022.

The latest round was led by Lightspeed Ventures, with Stepstone Group also participating, taking Pocket FM’s total fundraise so far to $196.5 million. Other investors in the company include Goodwater Capital, Tanglin Venture Partners, Naver, Times Internet, and Tencent.

Pocket FM plans to use the money to strengthen its presence in the US as well as to expand to Europe and Latin American markets, apart from shoring up its content library and creating a strong IP playbook for its writers.

“Our focus remains on tapping into unique and exclusive stories to solidify our leadership in this emerging category," Pocket FM’s co-founder and chief executive officer Rohan Nayak said in a statement.

Also read: Is the ice melting? Some startups defy funding slump with successive rounds

The company also said it has come up with an artificial intelligence-led strategy for automation, content curation, production, and distribution, and plans to leverage generative AI to scale up its offerings and personalise user experience.

Last month, Nayak told Mint that the company will invest $40 million in its online reading service Pocket Novel to enhance its presence and develop intellectual properties.

Pocket FM ventured into the US in 2022, and has already surpassed an annualised revenue run rate of $100 million, accounting for about three-fours of its overall business. According to the company, it has about 10 million registered users in the US.

Pocket FM, founded in 2018 as an audio series platform, has 130 million users worldwide and has exceeded $150 million in annualised revenue run rate, which it said is growing at 57% every quarter.

In FY23, Pocket FM India's operating revenues jumped more than sevenfold from a year earlier to 131 crore, while its loss narrowed 56% to 76 crore, according to the company's latest regulatory filings.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priyamvada C
Priyamvada is a correspondent at Mint. She writes about startups, emerging businesses and the funding ecosystem. Previously, she worked at Reuters where she extensively covered the travel, transportation and the logistics industries. She is an alumnus of the Asian College of Journalism's Bloomberg program.
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Published: 20 Mar 2024, 03:30 PM IST
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