The sources said a “blue chip” strategic investor is also participating in the round.
Endeavor Philippines, an affiliate of the non-profit group Endeavor Global, is also said to have participated, along with existing investors such as Foxmont Capital Partners. The funding round is said to be oversubscribed, with more than 40 investors expressing interest to invest.
The Series B funding will be used to grow Kumu’s wallet share, boost its local content, and expand its creator base.
Kumu has grown its content creator base from 65 to 1,000 over the last year while its monthly active users grew from 500,000 to 2 million since its launch on Android and iOS devices in February 2018.
Kumu, co-founded by Rexy Josh Dorado and Roland Ros, caters mainly to the Philippine market and Filipinos working or living abroad.
Some 12 million Filipinos live and work across countries like the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. The startup earlier said many of these overseas Filipinos have turned to Kumu as a way to stay in touch with family and friends back home and comprise one of its strongest revenue generators.
The startup raised around $4-5 million in its Series A funding round, which was led by Openspace Ventures, in April 2020. The round was also participated by Foxmont Capital Partners, Gobi Partners’ Core Philippine Fund, Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN, Gokongwei-backed Summit Media, and Globe Telecom and Ayala Corporation’s venture arm, Kickstart Ventures.
DealStreetAsia has reached out to Kumu, Openspace Ventures, and the startup’s previous backers for their comment on the latest fundraising but has not received any response at the time of publishing this story.
Kumu’s upcoming $15-million Series B funding could well be counted among major VC fundraising rounds at that stage in the Philippines, a country that lags regional peers in terms of quantum of venture capital investments.
In February, for instance, proprietary data compiled by DealStreetAsia showed that startups in the Philippines raised $5.1 million from three deals – Expedock’s $4 million, Avion School’s $125,000, and Mosaic Solutions’ $1 million pre-Series A. During the same month, Singapore saw 30 deals worth at least $83.1 million while Indonesian startups raised $42.3 million from 14 deals.
For the entire 2020, the total deal count in the Philippines stood at 23, up from 15 a year before, while the announced deal value surged by more than 12 times to $310 million, mostly due to fintech and logistics deals. Nine fintech startups secured funding worth at least $158 million last year, roughly half of the total amount of funds raised in the Philippines during the year.
While there was an uptick in the number of deals and amount raised in the Philippines, the figures remain way lower compared to the 280 deals that raised $3.7 billion in Singapore or the 134 deals that raised $3.37 billion in Indonesia.