Neil Choi, CEO of Spoon Radio Inc. (Mykoon), stated during an interview that the Korean startup raised $41 million (49.5 billion won) from selling virtual items last year, more than double the value gained in 2018. Its live audio streaming app, dubbed Spoon Radio, has gathered fans around the world.
Established in 2013 in South Korea, Choi, along with co-founders, debuted the concept of interactive audio broadcasting with Gen Z as its primary target customers.
Since the debut of Mykoon’s Spoon radio in Korea in 2016, the total yearly sales virtual items continue to grow at a rapid pace. In 2016, the company made $60 thousand (71 million won) in virtual item sales, $2 million (2.37 billion won) in 2017, $19 million (22.5 billion won), and recently $41 million (49.6 billion won) in 2019.
Spoon’s swift growth across more than ten countries in Asia, the Middle East, and recently the United States attracted venture capitals to invest in the streaming platform. The company received an impressive $59.6 million (70.5 billion won) from investors such as SBI Investment, KB Investment, IMM Investment, and Naver.
The startup’s aggressive global expansion saw user and revenue growth increase 300 percent and 400 percent, respectively, over the last year. Virtual item revenue from overseas markets now exceeds that from Korea.
Spoon Radio’s app currently exceeded 15 million downloads, with more than 100,000 broadcasts on average generated per day on the platform.
For this year, Spoon Radio Inc. forecasts total revenue of $100 million (118.3 billion won) from virtual item sales.
“As the first mover in the Audio Live Platform space, Spoon Radio has demonstrated marketability and potential in many countries and will focus on improving profitability this year.”
Spoon CEO and founder, Neil Choi.
Mykoon established its U.S. subsidiary as a strategy to enter the U.S. market. The company is also preparing to open a branch in San Francisco this coming April.
Spoon Radio has found massive success in Japan and the U.S., with over 70 percent of its users coming from outside Korea. “Spooner” is becoming as popular as with the terms “YouTuber” or “Influencer” in countries it is broadcasted.
Spoon Radio Inc. based its unique business model on real-time digital gifting to support its DJs, becoming synonymous with mobile radio for young people, especially Gen Z.
The Spoon app is downloadable in both Google Play stores and iOS.