Pocket FM (1), vernacular audiobooks, and podcast marketplace received 23.41 crore INR from Tencent Cloud BV in its recent fundraise. Moreover, it also secured 11.22 crore INR and 6.7 crore INR from Lightspeed India and Times Group. The deal was closed in April when the foreign direct investment from Chinese investors was allowed under the automatic route.

Previously in its seed funding round, Pocket FM had secured 4.61 Crore INR from Lightspeed and Times Group in December 2018. Notably, it is the second time that Tencent is betting on a vernacular content space. Earlier in 2020, it also led a 76 crore INR worth Series C funding round of Pratilipi, a Bengaluru-based startup.

The estimate suggests that the valuation of Pocket FM is around 116 Crore INR post-money. It was a 6.3x surge in its valuation compared to its previous 18.5 crore INR valuation when it secured its seed round of 4.6 crore INR.

Pocket FM Observed a Positive Year as the Audio Content Consumption Shot Up

The collective shareholding of the promoters has diluted from 64.75% to 41.65% after the latest infusions. Rohan Nayak controls 15.1%, whereas Nishanth Srinivas and Prateek Dixit command 14.17% and 12.08%.

At present, Lightspeed India is the most significant stakeholder in the company, with 22.61%. Tencent BV has acquired a 20.1% stake of Pocket FM after the latest funding round. Meanwhile, Times Group now owns a 9.04% stake, with an ESOP pool of 6.43%. With the recent Series A funding, the company has secured over 45.7 Crore INR in external equity capital.

Pocket FM offers its audio content in four genres: podcast, audiobooks, entertainment, and self-help books for personality development and motivational. As per the website of the firm, it offers more than 10,000 hours of audiobooks and podcasts in three languages; Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil.

Since the last two to three years, there has been a surge in audio content consumption among vernacular users. Across three institutional rounds, Pratilipi is dominating the segment after raising over 30 million USD fundings.

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