Taiwan’s Largest Podcast Platform SoundOn Acquired by Singapore-Based Investment Firm

Taiwan’s Largest Podcast Platform SoundOn Acquired by Singapore-Based Investment Firm
Photo Credit: Sergey Galyonkin@Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

What you need to know

SoundOn is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Taiwan’s burgeoning podcast-listening population.

SoundOn, Taiwan-based podcast startup, announced yesterday that it has accepted an offer to be acquired by Kollective Ventures, a Singapore-based investment firm, and Turn Capital, Joseph Phua’s family office. Phua is the non-executive chairman of M17 Entertainment, a Taiwan-based live-streaming startup operating across Asia and America.

Launched in 2019, SoundOn has grown into one of Taiwan’s largest podcast hosting platforms, with more than 70% market share in the country, Phua said. The startup sees 35 million monthly downloads and predicted the number to hit 500 million this year.

Likai Gu, the founder of SoundOn, said he has been listening to English podcasts for more than ten years and has always hoped the Mandarin podcast market can catch up. 

SoundOn is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Taiwan’s burgeoning podcast-listening population. The platform said the number of podcasts produced for the Taiwanese audience has grown from 50 to more than 10,000 since its launch.

Experts believe the year 2020 marked the beginning of Taiwan’s podcast industry, with local content producers flocking into podcasting. More than 90% listeners, according to a report, have also started to listen to podcasts in the past two years.

The deal will accelerate SoundOn’s growth and expand its global presence. The company added it will continue operating under its current brand and its services remain unaffected. 

SoundOn, in addition to providing hosting services in Mandarin, also produces original content and manages its own player app and website.

Phua, who has just stepped down as M17’s CEO last August, said the two investment companies “see massive potential in the podcast and audio space in Taiwan, and this acquisition allows us to further invest and develop the podcast ecosystem.”

He also said SoundOn’s potential lies in its “ubiquitousness” in the podcast ecosystem. It is not only a hosting service provider but an advertising platform and content producer.

In the long run, Gu said the company’s goal is to become Taiwan’s largest advertising platform for podcasters, helping the latter monetize their content.

Khenglian Ho, managing partner at Kollective Ventures, said, “We look forward to exploring synergies between our audio-related portfolio companies to create an Asian beachhead in this space.”

Last May, Kollective Ventures had acquired Paktor Group, which was founded by Phua, from M17 Entertainment. Paktor owns several dating apps, including its namesake app available in Taiwan, Korea, and across Southeast Asia, and Goodnight, a Taiwanese-developed voice-dating app.


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TNL Editor: Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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