Audio content platform Kuku FM has recently crossed 1 million active paying subscribers. The platform has raised so far $25 million in funding from blue chip VCs like Krafton, Verlinvest, Vertex, 3one4 Capital, and IQ.
India has emerged as the last frontier to acquire content subscribers with the top OTT platforms currently capturing over 100 million, mostly English-educated subscribers so far.
With Kuku FM’s focus on regional languages, this is a product that aims to attract the remaining 1.2 billion Indians who are not educated in English.
The Mumbai-based Kuku FM was founded in 2018 by IITians and Toppr executives Lal Chand Bisu, Vinod Kumar Meena, and Vikas Goyal, It is a leading audio content platform that creates, produces, markets and distributes exclusive premium audio content in the form of audiobooks, stories, summaries, courses and more categories through its mobile app and website available on Android and iOS.
they started this startup to equip the youth of small towns with high-quality content in local languages.
The company’s co-founder Lal Chandu Bisu, himself a farmer’s son, barely knew any English and even took his IITJEE in Hindi. The lack of access to the best content in the world in local languages is something the founders have experienced in their journey and are therefore really inspired to solve it.
Named after the most talkative birds, Kuku FM is an audio OTT platform where youth from all over India come to listen to audiobooks and audio shows in their mother tongue.
Its first subscriber was a grain merchant who wanted to grow his business and chose to learn strategy through Chanakya Niti, A 30-year-old man Ramesh from Indore begins his day by listening to a summary of nuclear habits so that he can be more productive in his factory work. For these people every piece of material is a lifeboat away from worryingly cold nights and boring hot afternoons.
“This milestone is a testimony of our commitment to become the go-to destination for audio content for every aspirational youth in this country. Our scalable platform, combined with inspiring content from different content creators, has enabled us to deliver consistent experiences to our listeners and provided a strong growth trajectory for our business. We are confident and bullish on reaching maximum Indian households and achieve 10 million paid subscribers in the next year”, said, Lal Chandu Bisu, CEO and Co-founder, Kuku Fm.
Today, Kuku FM has over 1 million active paid customers, with a strong focus on solving user problems and not paying attention to advertisers. Out of Kuku FM’s 7 Indian languages, it has recently introduced audio content in South Indian languages, with a month-on-month (MOM) growth rate of over 80%.
While its other competing players have taken a top-down approach in the Indian market by launching their content in English for the first time, Kuku FM has taken a bottom-up approach, where it addresses the need of the user whose condition is most severe. And in that, they have revealed great value.
With 30,000 creators, 50 percent of the content is available only on this platform. Kuku FM hosts 150,000 hours of content in a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres, such as self-help, education, entertainment, personal finance, spirituality, inspiration and history.
It currently offers content in audiobooks, stories, book summaries, courses and podcasts in 7 languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi.