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Audiotech startup Pocket FM raises $100M in funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners

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Audiotech startup Pocket FM raises $100M

Audiotech startup Pocket FM recently raised $100 million in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. The funding is part of Pocket FM's broader strategy to expand its footprint, particularly in the U.S. market, and to solidify its position as a leading audiobook platform offering a wide range of content across various languages and genres.

Planning for international expansion 

According to a TimesNext report, Pocket FM is now in preliminary talks with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for another "large" round of funding. The funding is aimed at further bolstering Pocket FM's plans for international expansion, especially in the U.S.

However, it's important to note that these discussions are still in the early stages, and there's no certainty that they will result in a deal.


Financial growth 

Pocket FM has demonstrated remarkable growth, with its annualized revenue run rate (ARR) reportedly increasing by 6X-7X year-on-year to $160 million by the end of 2023.

The startup aims to achieve $100 million in ARR globally by 2025. The growth is supported by its unique pay-as-you-go, non-subscription offering in the U.S., which has been particularly successful, indicating a strong market fit and consumer demand for its content.

Operating on a freemium model

Founded in 2018, Pocket FM operates on a freemium model, allowing users free access to a quota of episodes and the option to purchase additional content through micro-transactions.

The model has proven to be highly effective, with listeners spending more than 110 minutes daily on the platform. The startup's approach to content delivery, focusing on serialized fiction and non-fiction across multiple genres, has set it apart in the competitive audio storytelling market.

Last year, Pocket FM onboarded Vivek Bhutyani as the Vice President of Content Marketing for content marketing strategy and organic growth.

According to a CrunchBase report, the audio series platform has raised over $109 million in funding till date from investors, including Naver, Goodwater Capital, The Times Group, and Tencent, among others.