The round was led by GO-JEK backer Openspace Ventures
Philippines-based Kumu Holdings, the company behind Filipino live streaming app Kumu, closed its Series A at about $5 million, the company announced in a statement on April 14. The funding will go towards scaling the business and introducing new app features.
Singapore venture capital firm Openspace Ventures, best known for backing Indonesian unicorn GO-JEK, led the round. This is Openspace’s second portfolio investment in the Philippines, after a Series A investment in fashion ecommerce platform BeautyMNL, the statement noted.
Co-Founder and Partner at Openspace Ventures Hian Goh said in the statement that there is increasing interest in interactive platforms and live streaming apps from the younger population, but “there remains a significant gap for local content and hyper-local networks.”
“The Philippines, with 103 million citizens and a young, Internet-savvy population, have found Kumu to be a compelling addition to the media landscape,” he added.
Globe Telecom’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm Kickstart Ventures, media company ABS-CBN, and VC firm Gobi Core Philippine Fund also participated in the round.
ABS-CBN Corporation’s Head of Business Development Luis Paolo M. Pineda said in the statement, “With this app, we envision a new era for our shows, game shows, and ABS-CBN talents, wherein fresh ideas and live interaction can serve our audience best.”
With over 25,000 livestream broadcasts each day, the Kumu app has 3 million registered users and its young user base clocks in an hour of daily average usage, the statement noted.
It added that the app featured as the #1 top grossing social app in the Philippines Google Play Store, and over 100 Kumu content creators earn at least PHP 20,000 (about US$400) through their livestreams.
“We are betting on the exponential growth of the Philippines’ digital GDP while optimizing a user experience that is razor-sharp focused on Gen Z’s and millennials’ attention spans,” said Kumu Co-founder Roland Ros.
The funds will also facilitate the roll out of new features on the app, including an artificial intelligence community-driven live commerce platform. Through the feature, users can make purchases while watching a livestream, allowing creators to further monetize their content.
The pilot test of this feature resulted in nearly 300 purchases within 10 minutes, Ros said in the statement.
“The more we empower our creators to drive the digital influence of ecommerce in the Philippines, the more we empower consumers, fintech players, and logistics companies to participate in the digital marketplace of our motherland,” he added.
Header image courtesy of Kumu