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Audio OTT platform Headfone raises $10 million led by Elevation Capital

Audio OTT platform Headfone has raised $10 million in Series B round led by Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from Hashed, an existing investor, and prominent angels including Ajit Mohan (Founding CEO, Hotstar), Biswa Kalyan Rath (entertainer) and Anshumani Ruddra (Group PM, Google).

The start-up currently offers content in Hindi. The new funds will be used to diversify content offerings across languages and to expand into other genres.

Founded by in 2018 by former Facebook software engineers, Pratham Khandelwal and Yogesh Sharma, Headfone is an audio OTT platform that primarily offers audio dramas in fiction genres like horror, thriller, romance, etc. The platform onboards creators (writers, voice artists and sound engineers) and provides them with tools to create high quality content.

Active users
The platform currently has 3 million monthly active users with 52 minutes of average daily time spent per user. There are a total of 800,000 content pieces on the platform, which has been growing at a 10 per cent CMGR for the past two years, the start-up said.

Yogesh Sharma, CTO of Headfone, said, “Audio dramas, so far, have been created by bringing together multiple artists in the same physical studio, and this makes it a very expensive and time-consuming process. But what we have built is a decentralised online platform where multiple artists, namely writers, voice actors and sound engineers seamlessly collaborate with each other to create audio dramas in a scalable, time-efficient and cost-effective manner.”

“Also, the popular fiction genres like horror, fantasy and thriller are really expensive to create and difficult to get right in video format whereas the same genres can be quickly produced in audio drama format, and still give an immersive and imaginative experience to listeners,” Pratham Khandelwal, CEO of Headfone, added.

Mayank Khanduja, Partner at Elevation Capital, said: “what stands out about Pratham and Yogesh is the product-first approach they have taken to generating high quality user generated content. The uniqueness of this approach has resulted in a tremendous amount of customer love for Headfone, which is evidenced by their best in class retention metrics. What is even more impressive is that they have gotten to this stage with a lean, nine-member team that is passionate about creating great audio content.”

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