China’s Fosun RZ Capital backs Indian social audio platform Headfone

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Bengaluru-based social audio platform Headfone run by Diacoustic Labs Pvt Ltd, on Monday said it has raised $750,000 in seed funding from Chinese venture capital investor Fosun RZ Capital.

Headfone was founded by ex-Facebook employees Pratham Khandelwal and Yogesh Sharma in January 2018. It is a social audio platform which allows users to listen to short stories, talk shows, podcasts, radio channels and other audio content in vernacular languages.

With this series of funding, the company will focus on building the team, improving its recommendation engine, scaling the community across India and for growing its user base.

The startup currently has around 500,000 downloads on its Android app store. The audio platform also allows users to record voice, play them back as stories, and share the audio as well with other users. The platform largely focuses on vernacular audio content where the content creator can publish own content broadcasted to listeners for likes, comments, and followers

Headfone uses machine learning to build personalized audio feed in order to provide a better listening experience. According to the startup, a user spends around 50 minutes in a day listening on Headfone on an average. It has an active user base of 50,000 users.

The company first raised its seed funding in 2018 when it was part of Axilor Ventures’ 8th accelerator batch. Axilor is a Bengaluru-based early-stage seed fund and startup accelerator.

“As part of our daily routine, we spend a significant amount of time commuting, cooking, using computers or exercising. These are times when our eyes are busy or tired but ears are free to listen. We see strong demand for audio content at such times. Since the next hundred million Indians coming online will be more comfortable with regional languages as opposed to English, we are building Headfone for easing access to vernacular audio content,” said Pratham Khandelwal, chief executive of Headfone in a statement.

“Headfone is the top vernacular audio podcast platform in India. Compared to visual content, audio content provides more opportunities to connect with the users. Besides, it is able to actively link users to fragmented scenarios, providing broader use cases. In addition, similar to Chinese audio market, audio platforms have great development prospects in India, which is why we are optimistic about Headfone,” added Wilson Jin, Chairman of Fosun RZ Capital in a statement.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.