10/12/2018 – Kumu, a live streaming and mobile content app in the Philippines had raised US$1.2 million in a seed funding round to grow its community of content creators.
The financing round was led by Summit Media and joined by several other institutional and individual investors including Foxmont Capital Partners and Two Culture Capital, which is managed by ex-Googler Scott Hartley, and Jove Schrlottmann of Mandala Spa Boracay.
Commenting on the deal, Summit Media’s 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 investigating in the future of media, as we are cognizant of our audiences’ rapidly changing needs,” said Gokongwei-Cheng.
Kumu is the second digital startup Summit Media has invested in. Last year, the consumer magazine publisher also took a stake in POPxo, the leading website for millennial women in India.
A leading digital lifestyle network in the Philippines, Summit Media publishes 16 titles ranging from Entrepreneur to Cosmo, on top of operating 15 websites that reach over 20 million unique users every month.
According to Kumu, the Summit Media is one of the first notable investments in the category of live streaming and content space in Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2017, Kumu is set up by Roland Ros, Rexy Doardo, Andrew Pineda, Clare Ros, and Angelo Mendez. The platform allows individual content creators to engage with their audience and earn a living from their tips.
Kumu boasts user-generated live chats as well as company-produced interactive game shows like Quiz Mo Ko and Pinoys Doing Stuffs. The platform offers various advertising opportunities and leverages the social media experience to tap into the growing global gift economy and online shopping.
In addition to user-generated content, another key vision Kumu holds is in establishing its own social television and in-house production via live streaming.
“Since live streaming 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 live streamers 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.