Kumu featured image
Banking & Finance News Stories Technology

Kumu raises $5M in Series A Funding Round

Kumu, a Filipino Livestream platform, raises $5 million in Series A, led by Openspace Ventures – aiming for improvement.

KUMU is a powerful livestream platform that prioritizes the voices of over 100 million Filipino around the world. One can get paid by becoming a livestreamer, win cash prizes by playing live game shows and make money by participating in various promotions run on Kumu.

Kumu can also be a site where one can just hang out, explore the many live streams “Kumunity” has to offer, meet and interact with other people. 

Founded in February 2018 by Rexy Josh Dorado and Roland Navarro de Ros, the platform continues to grow and is enjoyed by many Filipinos around the globe. Kumu was derived from the Filipino greeting “Kumusta”.

Kumu announced that it has raised a total of $5 million in its recently held Series A Funding Round led by Openspace Ventures – a venture that invests in Southeast Asia’s early-stage technology companies. 

The round was also participated by Kickstart Ventures, ABS-CBN, Bobi-Core Philippine Fund, and returning investors Summit Media and Foxmont Capital Partners.

Roland Ros, co-founder and CEO of Kumu said that they want to provide a platform where the younger generation can enjoy and just be themselves. 

“For us, as we look at the core behaviors of what creates Kumu as an addicting app, is adding the word authentic to community — authentic community,” said Ros in an interview.

Kumu claims that there are already 3 million registered users in the platform and more and more youngsters continue to welcome the platform amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. The company has seen a surge of up to 67 percent to 25,000 users at the end of 2019

Ros also talked about the advantage of a livestream platform, saying live streams are unedited and not prerecorded so users feel more authentic and connected to the person doing the livestream.

“Especially for the younger audience on the GenZ side, you know there is this kind of need for authenticity and for realness that you can’t get from a pre-recorded setting,” stated Ros.

Kumu also appreciates Filipinos who are living and working abroad but still support the platform. It was reported that 11 million Filipinos live and work across other countries like Canada, the US, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and many more.

Kumu’s co-founder and President Rexy Josh Dorado said, “About 20 percent of Kumu’s user base is from outside the Philippines, coming from over 100 different countries around the world. This audience segment alone drives about 50 percent of our revenue today.”

Moving forward, Kumu plans to use the new capital to develop its tech base and user experience. Part of this is creating a new feature that is an AI-empowered system and community-driven live commerce platform.

“We’ve really grown to admire companies who have prioritised the tech ecosystems of entire countries,” said Dorado. “When I see what Gojek has done in Indonesia, what VNG has done in Vietnam, and more recently what Ookbee recently did in Thailand, in all three cases we’re talking about vastly differently apps, but they have each custom-tailored a tech solution prioritising the voices of the young generation of people in that country. We want to be something similar for the Philippines,” Dorado added.

The startup previously raised $1.2 million in its seed round led by Summit Media.