Podcasting startup Kuku FM on Tuesday said it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Shunwei Capital, the Chinese investment firm spun off from handset-maker Xiaomi, and Indian venture capital firms India Quotient and 3One4 Capital.
Kuku FM, founded by Lal Chand Bisu, Vinod Meena and Vikas Goyal, provides production, distribution and marketing support for creators, and claims to have over a million listeners spending over 50 minutes a day on the platform.
“Audio content was always mostly limited to and synonymous with music. Consumers are now looking for more different, inclusive and enhancing listening experiences," the startup said in a statement. “All those famous niche poetry, investigative story narrations, mythological storytelling, comedy shows, game shows, all of it is now no more just video-only content. That’s where podcasts are changing the game of audio content."
Most of Kuku’s content is in Hindi, underlining the growth of local language social platforms and content firms in the country.
Shunwei has been one of India’s most active investors in content startups, with bets on regional language social network ShareChat, news aggregator Dailyhunt, and self-publishing platform Pratilipi among others. India Quotient too has been bullish on the space, being an early backer of ShareChat, Lokal and Clip among others.
"With the rise in internet penetration we saw a huge demand for regional language content. Along with that, there were strong signs of audio content demand but the experience was fragmented," said Gagan Goyal, partner at India Quotient.
“The team at Kuku FM is building an audio platform from the ground up and users are showing great engagement. We strongly believe the audio market in India will be huge in the coming years and with Kuku FM we are strongly positioned to capture it," Goyal added.