Audio series platform, Pocket FM claimed to hit an annualized revenue run rate of Rs 175 crore or $25 million in November 2022. While these claims would be validated when the company files its FY23 and FY24 numbers, Pocket FM didn’t even touch Rs 20 crore in operating revenue in FY22.
Pocket FM registered 11.4X growth in its operating scale to around Rs 17 crore during FY22 as compared to Rs 1.49 crore in FY21, as per its annual financial statement with the Registrar of Companies.
Pocket FM is an audio series platform that offers long-form audio content including audio shows, stories, novels and podcasts. After its successful launch in the US, the startup is now eyeing to expand its global presence.
Subscriptions were the largest source of revenue for Pocket FM and collection from them formed 94% of the operating income from the same while the rest came from advertising services. Other than this, it also cornered non-operating income of Rs 53 lakh during FY22 which took its overall revenue to Rs 17.55 crore.
In the process of acquiring more customers and expansion of business, the company’s total expenditure jumped around 10X to Rs 189.15 crore in FY22 from only Rs 19 crore in FY21. Akin to the explosion in expenses, its losses also soared at a similar pace and shot up 10X to Rs 171.6 crore during the year against Rs 17.14 crore recorded in FY21.
Heading towards the breakup of expenses, advertising & promotional expenses turned out to be the largest cost for Pocket FM, forming over 67% of the total expenses. Following the aggressive ad campaigns, this cost ballooned 14X to Rs 128 crore during FY22 from Rs 9.12 crore in FY21.
To go with the flow of operations and harness growth, it hired more resources during the year. Its employee benefit expenses inclined 7.3X to Rs 30.5 crore in FY22 while expenses related to content went up 2.7X to Rs 9.3 crore.
Pocket FM also spent Rs 7.13 crore and Rs 6.12 crore on technical and consultancy expenses during the last fiscal year. The rise in consultancy costs could be due to the back to back funding rounds it raised during FY22.
On a unit level, Pocket FM spent Rs 11.11 to earn a rupee in FY22.
Pocket FM has raised nearly $94 million since its inception from investors including Tencent and Times Group. It raised $65 million in March 2022 for expanding into new languages and building the largest audio creator community. The company competes with the likes of KuKu FM, Awaz, and Headfone among a few others.