Philippines: Livestreaming startup Kumu raises $1.2m from Summit Media

Photo from Kumu's social media page.

Philippine-based livestreaming and mobile content app Kumu has raised $1.2 million in a seed round led by Summit Media to grow its community of content creators.

Founded in 2017 by Roland Ros, Rexy Dorado, Andrew Pineda, Clare Ros, and Angelo Mendez, Kumu allows fans to tip their favourite content creator on the platform and individual creators to stream their content.

The seed funding round was also joined by several other institutional and individual investors, including Foxmont Capital Partners; Two Culture Capital, managed by ex-Googler and The Fuzzy and the Techie author Scott Hartley; and Jove Schrottmann of Mandala Spa Boracay.

Summit Media president and CEO Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng said Kumu will be an attractive platform for brands owing to the over-saturation of other social platforms.

“Our investment in Kumu is an important addition to our portfolio. We are committed to investing in the future of media, as we are cognizant of our audiences’ rapidly changing needs,” said Gokongwei-Cheng.

Summit Media is the Philippines’ leading digital lifestyle network. It publishes 16 titles, including Entrepreneur, Cosmo and Top Gear Philippines, and operates 15 websites that garner over 20 million unique monthly users.

Kumu claims the Summit Media-led investment round was one of the first notable investments in the category of livestreaming and content space in Southeast Asia. In addition to user-generated content, the other key to Kumu’s vision of “social television” is its own in-house production via livestreaming.

“Since livestreaming is still relatively new in the Philippines, it is our company’s responsibility to show Filipinos what is possible to achieve through this medium,” Kumu co-founder and strategy head Rexy Dorado said.

The startup said its app has posted double-digit, month-over-month growth in both users and content creators, with over 100,000 users and reaching the #1 trending app in the Google Play Store ten times.

CEO and co-founder Ros said that part of the seed round proceeds will be used to help grow the community of content creators.

“We are allocating some of our funding to supporting our livestreamers across the creative process, beginning with training and going all the way up to production. Our goal is to create the world’s first social television network, where content creators can readily find enthusiastic fans who want to engage with them,” he said.

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