Voiz FM, announced earlier today that it successfully raised an undisclosed seed amount from 500 Startups Vietnam. The audiobook and podcast platform has seen a 2x growth in its user base in recent months, following a surge in demand as customers turn to audio media during coronavirus quarantine.
Voiz FM was launched in late 2019 by a group of 3 Vietnamese co-founders to capitalize on opportunities in the emerging audio media space. According to Deloitte, the global audiobook and podcasting markets are set to grow to US$3.5 and US$1.1 billion in 2020, respectively. It demonstrates impressive annual growths of 25% and 30%, compared to that of the broader global media and entertainment sector at 4%.
Related: Why 500 Startups invest in Vietnam?
Voiz FM started off with audiobook. In contrast to a number of other Vietnam-based platforms making “easy money” from online piracy1, Voiz FM has taken a long-term approach and attained copyrights for 100% of its published content. In only 6 months, it has acquired exclusive publishing rights for more than 1,000 best-selling titles, partnering with top tier publishers in Vietnam including First News, Kim Dong, and Tre Publishers, among others.
According to Binh Tran, General Partner of 500 Startups Vietnam, the venture capitalist is bullish on the market opportunities as well as the team’s dedication to customers.
Voiz FM will spend the new funding on product development and market expansion. “Our product roadmap includes the launch of a recommendation algorithm in early July and an AI Voice functionality, which will allow users to choose their prefered voices for all titles, in October this year”, said Thai Tran, Co-founder and CEO of Voiz FM. These developments are expected to further enhance its user experience and improve production productivity. The team also plans to expand to other Southeast Asian markets in the near future.
500 Startups is a venture capital fund with a mission to find and support the most talented founders in the world, helping them create successful companies at scale and build a global startup ecosystem. Since its inception in 2010, 500 Startups have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, startup accelerators, and support services to thousands of entrepreneurs in more than 74 countries. Notable companies in the portfolio of 500 Startups include Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), Credit Karma, Grab, Carousell and Wildfire (acquired by GOOG).