Pocket FM is on the Verge of Achieving Unicorn Status Following a New Investment From ADIA

Pocket FM Logo

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Audio startup in talks with ADIA for funding.
  • ADIA-led round may include existing investors selling up to $100 Mn shares.
  • Pocket FM disclosed $103 Mn equity funding followed by latest discussions.

Funding Achievements and Valuation Growth

Pocket FM, the popular audio entertainment platform, recently secured a hefty $103 million (approximately INR 857 crore) in its Series D funding round, thanks to the support from Lightspeed and Stepstone Group. Now, it’s buzzing with talks of yet another funding endeavor that could propel it into the esteemed unicorn league.

According to reports from ET, the startup is currently in talks with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for its next funding phase. This upcoming round is anticipated to place Pocket FM’s valuation at a substantial $1.2 billion.

In this proposed round led by ADIA, there are discussions about a secondary sale of shares by existing investors, with a potential value of up to $100 million.

Revenue Sources and International Expansion

“The negotiations are still in progress, with an expected closure at approximately $1.2 billion valuations. According to a source familiar with the situation, there are few assets showing promising growth, bringing in about $150 million in annual recurring revenue. Pocket FM, known for its low production costs in India, derives 70% of its revenues from international markets.

Content Enrichment and Intellectual Property Framework

All this is happening as Pocket FM gears up to bolster its presence in the US, while eyeing expansion into European and Latin American markets. Additionally, the company aims to enrich its content library and provide better support for writers, creating a robust intellectual property framework.”

Established in 2018 by Rohan Nayak, Nishanth KS, and Prateek Dixit, Pocket FM stands as a vibrant audio series platform, presenting a diverse array of content spanning various languages and genres like romance, self-help, and motivation.

Sustainable Growth and Investor Interest

With a treasury boasting over 1 Lakh hours of content, featuring more than 2,000 exclusive audio series and 4 Lakh episodes spanning across genres and languages, Pocket FM asserts itself as a haven for audio enthusiasts. The startup proudly declares its achievement of surpassing $150 Mn ARR, showcasing a robust growth rate of 57% QoQ. Notably, in the US market, its revenue has soared beyond $100 Mn ARR.

A company spokesperson told that they are achieving sustainable growth through strong unit economics and impressive gross margins, which has attracted significant investor interest globally. They are currently in discussions with multiple investors to support their expansion. By 2023, their global annualized revenue run rate (ARR) exceeded $150 million, with the US market accounting for over $100 million of the ARR.

Fusion of Success Stories and Revenue Milestones

“Our audio series is revolutionizing the entertainment industry, establishing a new benchmark for blockbuster content with popular titles such as Insta Millionaire, Saving Nora, and The Return, each earning over INR 100 Cr. Additionally, we are proud to announce that nearly 15 of our audio series have exceeded the $1 Mn revenue milestone, highlighting our diverse range of successful content,” the spokesperson stated.

In the fiscal year 2023, Pocket FM’s India division reported a 56% year-on-year decrease in losses, amounting to INR 75.7 Cr, and a remarkable 663% year-on-year increase in operating revenue, totaling INR 129.7 Cr.

Pocket FM, an audio entertainment platform, recently secured $103 million in funding, with talks ongoing for further funding from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority reaching a projected valuation of $1.2 billion. Deriving 70% of its revenue from international markets, the company is focused on expanding in the US, Europe, and Latin America while enriching its content and supporting writers. With a robust revenue model, significant investor interest, and successful audio series achieving milestones, Pocket FM demonstrated sustainable growth. Fiscal achievements in 2023 further underscored its financial strength and operational performance.

Neha Kamath

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