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Kumu: Create Content in Intergenerational Harmony


Numerous tales involve victorious corporations connected with the digital world. Virtual reality has become a crucial part of our everyday lives, being a place where everything happens slowly, and then all at once.

Some of us use the internet for gathering the latest news worldwide, while many others use it as a form of a lifestyle, documenting everything they do.

Watching, creating, and sharing videos is completely possible thanks to live-streaming technology. You just need a web-enabled device, along with a live-streaming platform. Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular live-streaming apps, followed by Twitch TV and House Party.

Inspired by these apps, Roland Navarro de Ros and Rexy Josh Dorado, came up with the idea to create a combination of all the above-mentioned platforms. Kumu was born to cater to the needs of all fellow Filipinos, all around the world.

If you want to know more about the inspiring story of the birth of Kumu, continue reading down below.

He who begins...

Kumu’s creator, Rexy Josh Dorado, is of Filipino descent. While attending middle and high school in Ohio, and college in Rhode Island, USA, he was constantly surrounded by non-Asian Americans, despite the fact that he was a Filipino. During this education journey, Rexy stumbled upon the Kaya Collaborative, a fellowship program created especially for Filipino students. The program provided Rexy with an opportunity to discover more about the Filipino culture and explore the many employment possibilities there. This was his first venture into the entrepreneurship streams.

One initial LinkedIn connection became an exciting and rewarding adventure.

Rexy met Roland Navarro de Ros, an LA native with Bikolano and Ilocano ancestry. They both lived in the United States, but they were always nostalgic for their motherland. With a desire to take this non-profit corporation to a nobler level, Rexy returned to the Philippines. His thought of creating Kumu was initially sown by the guidance of his various mentors from the Kaya Collaborative. His late-night LinkedIn chat with Roland grew into a series of tangible ideas, and later, they simply had to figure out what to do next.

The Kummunity Has Risen

For all Filipino natives around the world, Kumu is specially designed to be a virtual meeting place where new friendships can ignite. A place where all Filipinos may feel comfortable and simply at home.

This app arrived on the virtual market in February 2018, but it was officially set in motion on Android and iOS devices in August of 2018. A third-culture background is evident in the co-founders, and as a result, Kumu evolved into an online gathering place for the Filipino Kumunizens, often known as the diaspora.

The idea to name the app Kumu came from the Tagalog word kumusta meaning how are you?. The notion of Kumu was originally dismissed as a shaggy-dog story.

Why would someone need a fresh messaging app in a world overloaded with apps like Viber and WhatsApp? After all, Telegram had reached its peak back then, too. But fortunately, it was still well-received, even if by a small crowd.

An interesting mix of different categories can be a good place to start, but never enough to convince users to start using a completely new app. For the purpose of reaching a wider audience, Rexy and Roland invited many famous people. Culinary experts, content writers, fitness coaches, make-up artists, teachers, and many more influential people can be found creating videos on Kumu.

Later on, Quiz Mo Ko was launched on the Kumu platform, a trivia show introduced for the users to participate in and have a whale of a time. This quiz became the main attraction on this platform. It can definitely be said that the main attraction was Cristine Reyes, a Filipino model, and actress, hosting this Quiz Mo Ko, resulting in surpassing 20,000 people tuning in at once.

Everyone who joined Quiz Mo Ko had the possibility to win an abundance of cash rewards. This tournament worked wonders for the spreading of Kumu since everyone was so excited about the offer of getting a virtual gift tracked in a form of diamond points. Later on, these diamond points could easily be transformed into real money and be cashed out.

Akumulating Funds

Clare Ros and Andrew Pineda, the co-founders of Kumu, were instrumental in the company’s early development with their first investment.

Apart from them, during a few funding rounds like a pre-seed round, seed round, venture round, and Series A funding round, Kumu had gained the utmost support from rich businesses. ABS-CBN, Summit Media, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, Foxmont Capital Partners, Openspace Ventures, and Kickstart Ventures were just a few of them, funding this company with more than $6.6 M in total.

Overall, Kumu holdings were able to raise $21.6 million in five rounds. Most recently, in the Series B round for Kumu Holdings that took place on the 26th of March, a total of $15 M was funded from Susquehanna International Group (SIG) and Openspace Ventures. The latest investors in Kumu Holdings are Foxmont Capital Partners and Endeavor Catalyst.

The New Era of Live Streaming

Finally, there is a powerful app assembling all GenZ and Millennial Filipinos, where users are free to speak English, Tagalog, Bisaya, Japanese, Bicolano, practically every Filipino language they want.

When users install and open this app for the first time, they can have the privilege and opportunity to see what all the popular people are doing, and what are Filipinos interested in watching every day. The lovely interface will undoubtedly guide them through every feature this platform possesses and will showcase its features.

Suddenly, what really makes this app stand out is the newly added live-streaming feature. According to Rexy, in the beginning, things were a little rough, barely twenty or thirty loyal users remained from the first few thousand who downloaded the app. But, they all utilized the live-streaming feature and discovered something special and unique in it that couldn’t be found anyplace else.

Kumu is streaming a mass of shows that cover a wide range of topics, but it will never offer random content to anyone. Users will be initially evaluated with brief questions and choices connected to their hobbies and preferences. Nevertheless, one thing that is still topping the charts of popularity is the game show format, allowing users to win and earn real money from the available game shows.

According to BuiltWith, Kumu Holding’s platform is flawlessly working thanks to the 27 technologies that are utilized daily. iPhone/Mobile Compatibility, Viewport Meta, an SPF, just to name a few.

Kumu at This Time

Before Kumu reached its goal of becoming a helpful and trending app, its creators had to put in a lot of elbow grease to stand next to the other social media apps. Kumu met its fair share of competitiveness by Getcha, Jandi, Telegraph, and Sendbird, among others. Today, Kumu’s headquarters are still in the Philipines, and a number of 212 people are working in the company. Employing people in the group of 18-35-year-old, the average age of the people working for Kumu is 29 years old. Kumu Holdings is aspiring to become a “super app”, combining the features of all currently popular live-streaming apps like TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Shopee, and more. More than 6 million registered users from over 55 countries are currently on the list of people using the Kumu platform.

Everyone who is interested in going live should try out Kumu, make friends, and have tons of fun. With an average of 27,592 monthly visits, Kumu Holdings has a global ranking of 656,768. Now run along and explore everything about your favorite celebrities, sports matches, as well as discoveries, education, and make-up tips. Everything you can think of is already documented there. You just have to join the Explore section, and the little blue tarsier Kumu mascot, Karlito, can instantly teach you how to go live!

Livestreaming Kumu content creators can earn about $400 for every Livestream they make. Therefore, watch other people’s live streams, co-host with them, and be generous with the virtual presents to also receive more real-world earnings for you too!