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Kumu nets Series C to become the ‘Disneyland of social media’; total funding exceeds US$100M

The Filipino social entertainment platform Kumu claims it has so far amassed a base of 10M+ registered users across over 55 countries

Filipino social entertainment platform Kumu has secured an undisclosed amount in a Series C financing round.

Global growth equity firm General Atlantic led the latest round, joined by returning investors Openspace Ventures and SIG.

It brings Kumu’s total funding to over US$100 million.

As per a press note, this deal marks General Atlantic’s first investment in the Philippines.

“Kumu is rapidly emerging as a leading digital content community and social platform in the Philippines and the global Filipino diaspora,” said Sandeep Naik, Managing Director and Head (India & Southeast Asia) at General Atlantic.

“We believe an immense digital opportunity exists in the Philippines, a market that is hungry for content and ripe for disruption. Kumu’s innovative live-streaming offerings pave the way for its continued growth as a broader online media platform,” he added.

Established in 2018 as a live streaming app, Kumu claims it has since amassed a base of over 10 million registered users across over 55 countries. It generates revenues from virtual gifting, advertising, and e-commerce, which allow content creators to convert engagement into income.

Kumu provides premium content and has co-produced the last two seasons of the hit TV show Pinoy Big Brother.

The company has also teamed up with the top-grossing Filipino film director Cathy Garcia-Molina to produce a movie. It enables Kumu users to earn a spot as a co-star or as part of the film’s soundtrack.

It claims to have seen early signals of product-market fit beyond the Philippines, with tractions coming from non-Filipinos in the US and Europe.

Kumu wants to be the “Disneyland of social media”, enforcing authenticity, positivity, and safety through its community-driven content moderation system.

“We are less than one per cent of the way to our goal,” said Roland Ros, Kumu’s founder and CEO. “Billions of dollars are being spent on internet infrastructure, and you have a market of over 100 million people with a median age that is GenZ and millennial, with affordable, 4G-capable smartphones. That together is a perfect playground for us to build a social platform at a global scale that is founded upon deep engagement and positivity.”

“The first generation of social media was defined by passive engagement, where the platform wins through advertising, but all except the top 1 per cent of creators struggle to earn a living,” said Rexy Dorado, president and co-founder of Kumu. “We are early movers in this movement towards a genuine creator economy where anyone can earn a sustainable income from just a hundred true fans each.”

Earlier this year, the company announced a Series B funding round co-led by SIG. It was preceded by a Series A led by Openspace Ventures.

Kumu believes that the Philippines is at a tipping point: structural and behavioural changes have led to the internet and social media penetration increasing by almost 10 per cent yearly. The Philippines is often termed as the world’s social media capital as Filipinos spend at least 10 hours of their days online and dedicate at least four of those to social media alone.

“At Kumu, we seek to acquire a larger share of users’ mindshare and make even a couple of those hours spent online as delightful as possible for content creators and consumers alike,” says Dana De La Vega, Kumu’s VP of Strategic Management.



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