Kumu
Developer(s)Kumumedia Technologies, Inc.
Initial releaseJanuary 9, 2018; 6 years ago (2018-01-09)
Stable release
8.35.0 / December 14, 2022
Operating systemiOS, Android
Size177.4 MB (iOS)
62 MB (Android)
Available inEnglish, Taglish
TypeSocial networking
Video sharing
E-commerce
LicenseProprietary software with Terms of Use
Websitewww.kumu.ph

Kumu (stylized in lowercase) is a Filipino video sharing and e-commerce social networking service owned and developed by Kumumedia Technologies, Inc. The social media platform is used to livestream curated programs created by app users and partner brands and as an e-commerce platform for app users and partner brands who want to sell their merchandise online.[1] It was founded in 2017 and launched on Android and iOS devices in February 2018. Kumu caters mainly to the Philippine market and the Filipino diaspora.[2] In October 2020, the app topped the download charts of both the Apple App Store and Google Play in the free apps category.[3][4] The app aims to become a "super app" that combines the functionalities of other apps like YouTube, TikTok, Shopee, Instagram and Facebook Messenger into one.[5][6] Kumu is considering adding offline events to its platform, such as fan meetings with popular livestreamers and a convention inspired by Comic-Con called Kumu-Con, and expand beyond livestreaming to e-commerce and payments.[7]

History

Kumu was developed in 2017 then launched in February 2018 by Roland Ros, Rexy Dorado, Andrew Pineda, and Clare Ros, who are Filipino entrepreneurs that were based in the United States and have worked in technology and social enterprises.[1][3] It was initially developed as a messaging app with a livestreaming feature targeted toward millennial and Generation Z Filipino users.[6][4][8] The app's name was derived from the Filipino word "kamusta" (or kumusta), meaning "How are you?", which is a common greeting among Filipinos.[1]

Kumu's livestreaming feature proved to be more popular among its users and the developers eventually shifted their focus towards this functionality and introduced other features.[6][4] Registered users can also earn through brand sponsorships in their livestreams, similar to revenues that YouTube users can earn from ads on their videos. Kumu content creators can earn at least ₱20,000 (or about US$400) through livestreaming. With over 25,000 livestream broadcasts each day, Kumu has 3 million registered users each clocking an hour of daily average usage.[9]

Aside from user created livestreams, Kumu also livestreams its own curated shows, mainly game shows such as Game Ka Na Ba? and Quiz Mo Ko. It has also partnered with various celebrities and brands to promote products through livestreaming. These include former actor and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, journalist Ces Drilon, TV host Boy Abunda, TV executive and actress Charo Santos, Sydney Crespo, Ruby Ibarra, Mica Javier, Apple Chiu, Brent Manalo, as well as Star Magic Philippines, Cornerstone Entertainment Group, and MOR Philippines.[5]

In December 2018, Kumu announced that it had secured around $1.2 million in seed funding, led by Summit Media, Foxmont Capital Partners, and Two Culture Capital.[10]

With the sudden popularity of podcasting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kumu added a podcasting feature in February 2020 to attract more users and content creators to use to app. The feature allows audio streamers to accommodate guests and co-hosts in ‘public’ and ‘friends only’ options; as well as ‘mute’, ‘kick’ or ‘block’ listeners.[11][12][13]

In April 2020, Kumu announced that it had secured around $5 million in Series A funding. Openspace Ventures, an early investor in Indonesian unicorn start-up Gojek, along with Kickstart Ventures, ABS-CBN, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, and returning investors Summit Media and Foxmont Capital Partners all participated in the funding round.[14][15][9]

In October 2020, Kumu partnered with Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN to launch the ninth season of reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother: Connect amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The app hosted online auditions for the reality show, which attracted over 100,000 new users, and it also livestreamed activities inside the Big Brother House during the show's run.[16][17]

In June 2021, Kumu announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount in Series B funding. Gentree Fund, Endeavor Catalyst Fund, alongside returning investors Summit Media, Kickstart Ventures, Foxmont Capital Partners, and Gobi-Core Philippine Fund all participated in the funding round.[18]

In July 2021, Kumu announced a partnership with Wattpad to bring their stories into the Kumu app via live streaming, audio streaming, and social commerce.[19]

In August 2021, Kumu partnered again with ABS-CBN to launch the tenth season of reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother: Kumunity Season 10. The tenth season will feature adult, teen, and celebrity editions.[20]

In October 2021, Kumu announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount in Series C funding, led by General Atlantic with the participation of Openspace Ventures and SIG. This brought Kumu's total funding to over $100 million.[21]

In November 2021, Kumu partnered with Eat Bulaga! to launch Bida First: Isang Tawag Ka Lang!, a segment within the Eat Bulaga! program where viewers can win cash prizes by calling a phone number, in the app.[22]

In March 2022, Kumu partnered with TV5 to launch Top Class, a talent search reality TV show focused on looking for the next Pinoy pop idol.[23] In the same month, Kumu partnered with the Premier Volleyball League to stream their games on the Kumu app.[24]

Features

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c De Mesa, MM (September 3, 2018). "This Homegrown App Is All Set to Become a Creative Playground for Pinoys". www.spot.ph. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  2. ^ Owen, Charlene (September 1, 2018). "This Free and Feel-Good Streaming App Can Help You Earn Extra Cash". www.femalenetwork.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Rodriguez, Mia (October 20, 2020). "Local App Tops the Charts on Both Google Play Store and Apple App Store". www.spot.ph. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Pascual, Jam (December 9, 2020). "How did Kumu get so huge?". www.rappler.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Ichimura, Anri (October 21, 2020). "This Filipino App Is Now #1 in the App Store. Here's Everything You Need to Know About Kumu". www.esquiremag.ph. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "How Roland Ros, Founder Of Kumu Raised $6M To Build The #1 Grossing Social App In the Philippines?". www.asiatechdaily.com. July 14, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Kang, John. "The 30 Under 30 Asia Media Entrepreneurs And Influencers Keeping Us Connected During Social Distancing". Forbes. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Yang, Cathy (November 7, 2019). "Pinoy app 'Kumu' grows by tapping Millennial and GenZ need for 'authenticity'". news.abs-cbn.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Lewis, Sharon (April 15, 2020). "Filipino Live Streaming Startup Kumu Raises US$5M Series A". www.jumpstartmag.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Prisca Akhaya T. (December 7, 2018). "Philippines-based livestream mobile app Kumu raises US$1.2M seed funding". e27. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  11. ^ "Livestreaming platform Kumu expands into live audio with new podcasting feature". www.bworldonline.com. February 17, 2020. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  12. ^ "Digital: Filipino Social Media and Livestreaming App Kumu Introduces New Radio/Podcast Feature for Streamers". www.adobomagazine.com. February 14, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  13. ^ "'Pinoy Big Brother' opens online auditions on Kumu". www.rappler.com. October 20, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  14. ^ Shu, Catherine (April 14, 2020). "Filipino live streaming app Kumu raises $5 million Series A led by Openspace Ventures". techcrunch.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Neo, Kristie (April 14, 2020). "Filipino live streaming app Kumu raises $5 million Series A led by Openspace Ventures". www.dealstreetasia.com. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  16. ^ "'Paano ka ba mapapansin?' Lauren Dyogi shares tips as PBB receives almost 100K online auditions". push.abs-cbn.com. October 24, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  17. ^ " "PBB Connect" kick-off trends as Big Brother drops explosive revelations". www.abs-cbn.com. December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  18. ^ Maulani, Anisa Menur (June 10, 2021). "Kumu raises Series B funding round co-led by SIG, Openspace Ventures". e27.co. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  19. ^ Buenaventura, Marie (July 21, 2021). "Wattpad partners with Kumu". mb.com.ph. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "Search for "Pinoy Big Brother Kumunity Season 10" housemates begins this September on Kumu". abs-cbn.com. August 30, 2021. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  21. ^ "Kumu Raises Series C Led by General Atlantic, Aims to Create the World's Largest Participatory Social Network With Over US$100m Total Funding to Date". Business Wire. October 27, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  22. ^ "Digital: Kumu partners with TAPE Inc.'s Eat Bulaga to bring BIDA FIRST to the live-streaming generation". Adobo Magazine. November 24, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  23. ^ Tomada, Nathalie (March 2, 2022). "TV5, Kumu and CS Studios join forces for P-pop talent search Top Class". philstar.com. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  24. ^ "PVL games to be available on Kumu". news.abs-cbn.com. March 16, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.