Pocket FM Successfully Completes its First ESOP Buyback Totaling $8.3 Mn

Pocket FM Logo

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Pocket FM completes $8.3M(approximately 69.21 Crores INR) ESOP buyback successfully.
  • Series D funding of $103M (approximately 860 Crores) sets valuation at $750M (approximately 6,254 Crores).
  • Plans for global expansion, AI-driven strategy, Pocket Novel introduction.

Successful ESOP Buyback

Pocket FM, the popular audio entertainment platform backed by investors like Lightspeed and Stepstone Group, has successfully concluded its inaugural employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback, valued at $8.3 million (approximately INR 69 crore).

According to a statement from the company, a diverse group of former and current employees took part in the buyback, although specific details were not disclosed.

Rohan Nayak, Pocket FM’s co-founder and CEO, expressed satisfaction despite economic challenges, emphasizing the company’s commitment to enabling wealth creation opportunities and nurturing a culture of growth among its team members. He said, “We’re delighted to affirm our dedication to fostering a culture of growth and opportunity within Pocket FM, even amidst economic uncertainties.”

Fundraising Achievements and Future Plans

The latest update follows swiftly on the heels of the startup snagging a hefty $103 million (INR 857 crore) in its Series D funding, spearheaded by Lightspeed, alongside Stepstone Group jumping in on the action.

This fundraising spree has now set the company’s value at a whopping $750 million.

Back in February, Pocket FM had hinted at its ambitious plans, earmarking $40 million for its upcoming venture. Their sights are set on hitting a global annual revenue target of $100 million by 2025.

So far, the company has secured a total of $196.5 million in funding. The startup was also in discussions with the sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) to raise a new, substantial round of funding.Top of Form

Introduction of Pocket Novel and AI-Driven Strategy

Moreover, Pocket FM has introduced its online novel reading platform, Pocket Novel, with the aim of broadening its range to encompass various entertainment sectors and formats.

In an earlier phase, the company initiated an AI-driven strategy for streamlining processes such as automation, content curation, production, and distribution. Furthermore, efforts are underway to utilize GenAI technology to expand the scope of entertainment content and develop AI-driven personalized recommendations to enrich the user experience.

Established in 2018 by Nayak, Nishanth KS, and Prateek Dixit, Pocket FM stands as a platform for audio series, offering diverse content spanning across different languages and genres such as romance, self-help, and motivation.

They boast an extensive library of over 100,000 hours of diverse content, featuring more than 2,000 exclusive audio series and a staggering 400,000 episodes spanning various genres and languages on their platform.

Financial Milestones

The company proudly announced surpassing the milestone of $150 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR), with a remarkable quarterly growth rate of 57%. Notably, their revenue in the US market alone has exceeded $100 million ARR.

Performance in India and Operating Revenue Surge

During the fiscal year 2023, Pocket FM’s India division showed significant progress, with a narrowed loss of INR 75.7 crore, marking a 56% year-on-year improvement. Additionally, they experienced an impressive 663% surge in operating revenue, totaling INR 129.7 crore.

Pocket FM concluded a successful $8.3 million ESOP buyback and secured a hefty $103 million Series D funding, aiming for a $100 million annual revenue by 2025. The introduction of Pocket Novel and an AI-driven strategy highlight their commitment to diverse entertainment formats. Accomplishing over $150 million in annual recurring revenue and experiencing significant growth in the Indian market, Pocket FM showcases remarkable financial progress. Their strategic initiatives and robust financial performance underscore their position as a leading audio entertainment platform poised for continued success.Top of Form

Neha Kamath

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart