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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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.