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Google-backed Kuku FM Raises $25 Million in Funding to Enhance Audiobook Offerings in South Asian Market


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Google-backed Kuku FM Raises $25 Million in New Funding Round

Audio content platform Kuku FM has secured $25 million in its latest funding round. The company plans to use the funds to further develop its audiobook offerings in the South Asian market.

Funding Leads

The Series C funding was led by Nandan Nilekani’s Fundamentum Partnership, with participation from the International Finance Corporation and Vertex Ventures. Investors such as 3one4 Capital and Krafton are also backers of Kuku FM.

About Kuku FM

Kuku FM is a five-year-old audio platform that provides over 150,000 hours of content across various genres like personal finance, romance, religion, and self-help. Available in six Indian languages and English, Kuku FM’s locally relevant content has gained popularity in smaller Indian cities, towns, and villages.

Pricing Model

Kuku FM does not display ads or offer complimentary content. Users can only sample parts of episodes within a series. A monthly subscription costs 99 Indian rupees ($1.2), while an annual subscription costs 999 Indian rupees, providing unlimited access to the platform’s content.

Growth and Revenue

Lal Chand Bisu, co-founder and CEO of Kuku FM, stated that the startup’s revenue has more than doubled in the last year. They project generating $15 million in annual revenue and aim to become profitable by the end of next year.

Rising Popularity of Audio Content

With the increasing availability of affordable smartphones and internet access in India, the consumption of audio content has grown significantly. This trend has created a demand for content that suits users’ preferences and is available in their desired language.

Competition and Market Share

In addition to Kuku FM, Amazon is also expanding its reach in the Indian market through Audible by partnering with local production entities to enhance its offerings.

Unlimited Consumption Model

Kuku FM stands out in the market due to its unlimited consumption model, as opposed to charging users for each piece of content. The platform collaborates with over 30,000 professional content creators who undergo a rigorous vetting process to ensure quality.

New Funding Plans

Kuku FM plans to utilize the new funding to expand its content catalog, particularly focusing on increasing educational offerings.

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