Audio Series platform Pocket FM raked in $16 million funding in a debt round from US-based Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank. With this, the Gurugram-based company has marked its first fundraise in 2023.
The company plans to utilize the proceeds to strengthen its audio series library, expand its creator community by attracting creative minds globally, and accelerate its revenue, it said in a press statement.
Riding on the success of its micropayment-led pricing model, the company claimed to clock 12X revenue growth last year, surpassing $25 million ARR (annualized revenue run-rate) in October 2022.
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 to more countries.
Excluding this debt round, 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.
Pocket FM claimed to hit an annualized revenue run rate of Rs 175 crore or $25 million in November 2022. However, it didn’t even touch Rs 20 crore revenue in the fiscal year ending March 2022. It recorded 11.4X growth in operating scale to Rs 17 crore during FY22 from Rs 1.49 crore in FY21. Its losses ballooned 10X to Rs 171.6 crore during FY22 as compared to Rs 17.14 crore in FY21. The firm competes with KuKu FM, Awaz, and Headfone among a few others.
In March 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was in news as the second-largest bank failure in US history. In a note to partners, also seen by Entrackr, Ribbit said that the VC has more than 60 operating accounts with SVB across Ribbit funds and SPVs in which it currently holds cash deposits totaling approximately $19 million. However, it expects to recover $6.4 million of the amount.