Mo­bile app Kumu com­pletes seed round fundrais­ing

Manila Times - - Sunday Business & I.t. -

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.

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