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Pocket FM's Expansion into Digital Novels: A $40 Million Venture

Pocket FM ventures into the digital novel space with Pocket Novel, aiming to diversify its offerings and capture a broader audience. With ambitious investment plans and impressive engagement metrics, the platform aims for global expansion by 2025.

Pocket FM, an audio over-the-top (OTT) platform, has made a strategic move into the digital novel space with the launch of Pocket Novel. This initiative aims to diversify the platform's offerings, catering to a broader audience interested in different entertainment formats.

Ambitious Investment Plans

In a recent statement, Pocket FM announced its intention to invest $40 million in this new venture, setting its sights on achieving a global annualized revenue run rate (ARR) of $100 million by 2025. Rohan Nayak, the CEO and co-founder of Pocket FM, emphasized their commitment to creating an entertainment ecosystem that specializes in discovering and distributing unique stories adaptable to various formats and geographical locations.

Leveraging Experience for Success

Nayak highlighted the startup's experience in the audio series domain, expressing confidence in their ability to disrupt the entertainment landscape with their IP creation engine. Founded in 2018 by Nishanth KS, Prateek Dixit, and Nayak, Pocket FM initially gained prominence as an audio book platform offering content in multiple languages.

Tapping into the Novel Market

With the launch of Pocket Novel, Pocket FM aims to tap into the underpenetrated novel market in India. The platform boasts a substantial community of 150,000 writers and envisions expanding this to 1 million writers while strengthening its library to include 2 million novels by 2025.

Impressive Engagement Metrics

Pocket FM claims to have garnered significant reader engagement, with users spending over 100 minutes on the platform exploring various genres such as romance, drama, suspense, fantasy, and sci-fi. During its beta phase, Pocket Novel reported that more than 2% of its novels have amassed over 500,000 reads, with over 5% exceeding 100,000 reads.

Funding and Financial Performance

In the previous year, Pocket FM secured a funding of $16 million from Silicon Valley Bank, which was directed towards expanding its audio library, enhancing its creator community, and accelerating revenue growth. Additionally, the company reported a notable improvement in its financial performance, with its India arm narrowing its net loss by 56% year-on-year to INR 75.7 crore in the financial year 2022-23, attributed to increased revenue and reduced advertising expenses.