KB Investment, a leading Korean venture capital (VC), led the round of funding along with SBI Investment, IMM Investment, and Naver’s strategic investment. KB Investment Managing Director Wonjin Lim joined the company’s board of directors.
Spoon’s swift growth across Asia, the Middle East, and recently the United States attracted venture capitals to invest in the streaming platform. The aggressive global expansion saw user and revenue growth increase 300 percent and 400 percent, respectively, over the last year.
The company, with its latest round of funding, will continue to spread into even more new markets.
Neil Choi, Spoon CEO, and founder said, “Spoon has been so successful because it introduced an innovative business model that social media desperately needs while still establishing real, human connections.” He continued, “We have proven that our model works at a global scale, across many disparate markets, and look forward to significantly growing our community in the U.S. and other English-speaking markets as well as continuing to dominate in Japan and Korea.”
Spoon launched in 2013 in South Korea, debuting the concept of interactive audio broadcasting with Gen Z as its primary target customers. Spoon provides an authentic and unfiltered broadcast experience personalized to its younger audience.
The company based its unique business model on real-time digital gifting to support its DJs, becoming synonymous with mobile radio for young people.
Since its launch, Spoon showed that its digital gifting ecosystem works in different markets with various contents. The platform’s users appreciate the safety and the intimacy offered by its live talk environment. This service is demonstrated by its DJs becoming significant influencers in the community.
In Korea and Japan, audio influencers became synonymous with the term “Spooner” in the same manner that video influencers are with “YouTuber.” Top Spoon DJs take home $100,000 a year.
As part of the company’s effort to expand globally, Spoon recently hired, as its vice president, Fernando Pizzaro of North America. He is a media and internet executive from Discovery Communications, Yahoo, and Disney.
Fernando will head start operation of Spoon’s U.S. offices located in San Francisco in the first quarter of 2020.
Spoon is currently available for users in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, North Africa, the United States, and the Middle East.
The Spoon app is downloadable in both Google Play stores and iOS.