Lightspeed To Lead $80M-Plus Funding In Pocket FM: India’s Popular Audio Series App


Indian audio series app Pocket FM is set to secure more than $80 million in a new funding round, as it continues to experience rapid revenue growth. The startup has achieved an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of over $160 million, marking a six-to-seven times increase compared to the previous year. The funding round is expected to be led by existing investor Lightspeed, with the investment firm considering participation from its India and U.S. arms. These discussions value Pocket FM at around $800 million.

Key Takeaway

Indian audio series app Pocket FM is set to secure more than $80 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed. The startup’s revenue has grown significantly, with an ARR of over

60 million. Pocket FM’s unique freemium model, allowing users to pay only for specific content, has contributed to its success. The platform’s expansion into the U.S. and its micro-transaction model have garnered strong user engagement.

Lightspeed’s Continued Backing

Lightspeed, a prominent investor in Pocket FM, is in advanced talks to lead the funding round, according to anonymous sources. The company’s decision to invest further stems from Pocket FM’s impressive revenue growth and its expansion into the U.S. market. The Indian startup’s unique approach, providing users with the option to pay only for specific content rather than a subscription model, has been well-received.

Growing User Engagement

Pocket FM operates under a freemium model, offering users access to episodes in a long-form episodic format. The platform allows free access to episodes every 24 hours, with additional content available for a fee. Since implementing a micro-transaction model in early 2022, users can purchase coins in local currency to redeem for extra episodes. On average, listeners spend over 110 minutes daily on the platform.

Expanding Potential

In addition to Lightspeed, Pocket FM enjoys support from other major investors such as Tencent and Times Internet. To date, the startup has raised approximately $93 million. With its growth trajectory and revenue achievements, Pocket FM aims to reach an ARR of $100 million by the end of 2023. Its successful expansion into the U.S. market and the introduction of a non-subscription, pay-as-you-go offering have contributed significantly to its overall success.

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