Sweden-based Kitab Sawti, the world’s largest Arabic audiobook platform, has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round from new and existing investors. The platform will deploy the funds to expand its content and reach.
New investors include Bonnier Ventures, the venture capital arm of Sweden-based Bonnier, one of the world’s most renowned publishers; Paltel Group, a public shareholding company with a major market share in Palestine’s telecommunication sector; and Kaaf Investments, a family investment house based out of Dubai. The company also attracted additional investment from Abdulla Elyas, co-founder of Careem, the ride hailing application. Northzone, a venture capital firm and one of the early investors in Kitab Sawti, also grew its investment in the Arabic audiobook platform.
“We have witnessed growing consumption of our content over the past period, with more than 1 million registered users and a 20 per cent month-on-month growth in paying users. The next 12 to 18 months will be very exciting for us as we deploy the funds to bolster the platform’s leading position in the Arabic audiobook industry, supporting more than 5,000 new jobs in the industry in the process,” Sebastian Bond, CEO and founder of Kitab Sawti said.
Kitab Sawti was founded in Sweden in 2016 with the aim of supporting the integration of Syrian children into Swedish society. Today, it has offices in Dubai, Cairo and Palestine, and hosts more than 2,000 Arabic titles on its platform with more than one million registered users.
"We continue to see huge opportunities in audio and podcasting and the Kitab Sawti team has really impressed us with their ambition and progress,” said Ulrika Saxon, CEO at Bonnier Ventures. “There is strong overlap between Kitab Sawti and our experience with subscription models, intellectual property rights, and consumer-oriented businesses.”