Pocket FM, an India-based audio entertainment platform, has on Wednesday announced that it has raised $103 million in Series D funding.

The round was led by Lightspeed with participation from StepStone Group, Pocket FM said in a statement.

This latest round brings Pocket FM’s total funding to date to $196.5 million.

According to the statement, the new funding will strengthen Pocket FM’s push into the U.S. market and also support global expansion as the company plans to expand into Europe and Latin America (LATAM) markets in 2024.

The company will continue to strengthen its exclusive content library and create a strong IP playbook by providing the writer community a stage to share their unique and unheard stories.

Pocket FM has also put up a generative artificial intelligence (AI)-led strategy for automation, content curation, production, and distribution.

The company plans to leverage generative AI to scale its entertainment content offerings and build AI-powered personalized recommendations that enhance the overall user experience.

“We identified an unexplored space in the entertainment industry driven by an increasing demand for audio fiction and crafted a playbook to address this opportunity across every key market,” said Rohan Nayak, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Pocket FM.

According to him, the firm’s robust content library of audio series and a strong consumption behavior on the platform is shaping the future of entertainment.

“Our focus remains on tapping into unique and exclusive stories to solidify our leadership in this emerging category and create a strong IP playbook,

“This latest funding validates our vision and the possibilities we bring to disrupt the industry,” he added.

It is noted that Pocket FM recognized a gap in the entertainment landscape and capitalized on it by focusing on original and unique storytelling across different genres, pioneering a new entertainment category in the form of audio series.

Since launching in 2018, the firm has been driving serialized audio storytelling, and has established itself as the leader in personalized audio entertainment.

The company said it is disrupting the entertainment category with its audio series and crafting a playbook to define the future of entertainment.

Establishing itself as a leader in the entertainment space, Pocket FM said it has built the largest repository of exclusive audio series.

With over 100,000+ hours of content, including 2,000+ exclusive audio series and more than 400,000 episodes across genres and languages, the platform has cultivated a loyal audience and established itself as a driving force in the entertainment category.

The company said it has surpassed $150 million accounting rate of return (ARR), and is growing at 57 percent quarter on quarter. It has clocked over 20 million transactions in 2023.

It is noted that globally, listeners spend an average of over 115 minutes daily. In 2023 alone, the platform witnessed over 75 billion minutes of streaming worldwide.

The company announced its U.S. entry in the fourth quarter of 2022 and its revenue has surpassed $100 million ARR in the U.S. market.

According to the firm, U.S. audiences are the most engaged on the platform globally, spending over 135 minutes daily, and the platform has approximately 10 million registered users in the U.S.

“What sets Pocket FM apart is its vision to set up a sustainable and profitable business, backed by its unique pricing strategy,” said Harsha Kumar, Partner at Lightspeed.

“The firm emerges as a great reference for the entertainment landscape, with its capability to demonstrate strong unit economics,

“They are not just building a new category but democratizing the entertainment landscape with a tech-driven approach,” he added.

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