Fundamentum leads Kuku FM’s $21.8 million round

NEW DELHI: Mebigo Labs Pvt Ltd, which operates audio content platform Kuku FM, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $21.8 million in Series B in the Fundamentum Partnership led by Nandan Nilekani.

In addition to the new investors Fundamentum and Paramark, the existing investors Krafton, 3one4 Capital, Vertex, Verlinvest and FounderBank Capital also participated in this round.

Kuku FM plans to use the funds to expand its catalog, strengthen its content creation ecosystem, and offer listeners more language choices. The company aims to reach a base of over 10 million paying subscribers by the end of 2023, it said in a press release.

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Founded in 2018 by Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal and Vinod Kumar Meena, Kuku FM is an audio listening platform with more than 1.5 million paying subscribers. According to the company, many of its users pay for educational and sophisticated audio content.

“We have seen a rapidly growing interest in regional language content in Tier II and III urban, semi-urban and rural segments. Our goal is to continue to build a strong and diverse creator network serving this segment of the Bharat audience,” said Lal Chand Bisu, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Kuku FM.

For content creators, the Company provides content creation tools to enable them to create, develop and publish content on the platform. The platform has expanded its language offering with content in seven Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

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“The history of digitalization in India has opened up opportunities across industries. The content ecosystem has particularly benefited from the rapid growth of internet users… Kuku FM’s digital, technology-centric approach, with its focus on the ‘Bharat’ audience, is an ideal fit with our investment focus,” said Prateek Jain, Principal at Fundamentum Partnership.

Kuku FM is Fundamentum’s first investment from its recently launched second fund. In August, Fundamentum announced it had raised $227 million for its second early-growth fund.

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This is Kuku FM’s second fundraiser of 2022. At the start of the year, Kuku FM had raised $19.5 million led by Krafton and Google. Verlinvest and other investors also took part in the round.

Kuku FM currently hosts more than 150,000 hours of content in multiple formats including audiobooks, stories, book summaries, courses and podcasts. The company claims that much of the content is exclusive to the platform.

Kuku FM offers a wide range of genres, including fiction and non-fiction, audiobooks, personal finance, self-help educational titles, entertainment, news, mythology, spirituality, learning and inspirational content.

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