Mobile app Kumu completes seed round fundraising
KUMU has successfully completed a $1.2 million seed round, which was led by Summit Media and comes on the heels of a personal angel investment from Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, president and chief executive of Summit Media and director of Robinsons Bank.
Joining Summit Media on Kumu’s seed round are 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.
While the livestreaming and content space has been a hotbed for venture capital in larger markets like the United States or China, Kumu marks one of the other social platforms.
As a platform with many successful shows and thriving community chats or “Kumunities,” there are many ways for brands to reach their target audiences on Kumu. Some have advertised in-kind prizes on one of Kumu’s in- house shows. Others have sponsored individual livestreamers. Still other companies will be launching branded digital gifts that users can gift to their favorite content creators, who can redeem them for cash via the platform’s wallet feature.
Summit Media’s investment in Kumu is thus a strategic one. Summit Media gains a livestream and content platform to add to its lineup of sixteen publications, which already includes household names like Entrepreneur, Cosmo, and Top Gear Philippines, while Kumu gains a client network that already includes many of the top advertisers by spend in the Philippines. Together the two partners will continue to redefine how brands reach out to and interact with digital audiences.
Roland Ros, chief executive and co-founder, shared that part of the seed round would go toward supporting its growing community of content creators.
“Everyone on the Kumu team is a creative in some way, so we understand how hard it is to earn from your passion. We are therefore 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
social television network, where
enthusiastic fans who want to engage with them,” said Ros.
In addition to user-generated content, the other key to Kumu’s vision of social television is its own in-house productions. Kumu features original shows via livestreaming. Kumu’s current line- up is anchored by trivia show Quiz Mo Ko, which offers cash prizes as large as 100,000 pesos for winning, and Pinoys Doing Stuffs, a show that pits two Kumu users against one another in fun, often hilarious challenges.