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London Tech Week

Pocket FM raises $16M in debt from Silicon Valley Bank to expand its audio library

Pocket FM
Photo Credit: Pocket FM

A new form of audio entertainment that is rapidly gaining popularity is audio series. An audio series is a long-form or serialised fiction audio storytelling format akin to television series. Pocket FM is one startup which is at the forefront of this trend. Pocket FM, a platform dedicated to long-form, serialised fiction storytelling, has captured the interest of listeners in India and beyond with its unique offering.

Now the India-based audio streaming platform has secured $16M in debt funding from US-based Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank.

Expansion of audio library

The fresh funding will be used to expand its audio library, strengthen its creator community, and increase revenue.

In March 2022, the company raised $65M in a Series C funding round led by Goodwater Capital, Naver, and former investor Tanglin Venture Partners. The latest investment brings the startup’s total capital to $109.5M. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Brand Capital are among the other investors in the startup.

Pocket FM, founded in 2018 by IIT-Kharagpur grads Rohan Nayak and Nishanth Srinivas, is an online marketplace for audio shows and podcasts. The startup promises to have 100,000+ hours of long-form material, audio shows, stories, novels, podcasts, and knowledge shows in eight languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla, English, Kannada, and Marathi).

It boasts 80 million users who spend an average of over 4 billion minutes every month on the network.

The platform claims to have grown 12X in revenue last year and achieved a $25M annualised revenue run-rate in October 2022. Pocket FM’s competitors include Spotify, Deezer, Storytel, Beek.

SVB made news in March due to its collapse, the consequences of which were felt throughout the global startup community. After a few weeks, publicly traded First Citizens Bank completed its acquisition of the technology-focused bank.

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