Following their successful $1.2 million seed round led by Summit Media with participation from Foxmont Capital in late 2018, Kumu has now appointed long-time partner KC Montero to vice president of marketing.
While many celebrities in the Philippines support local tech companies as endorsers, the event host and DJ will be taking on a strategic role in the company, joining Kumu co-founders Roland Ros, Rexy Dorado, Andrew Pineda, Clare Ros, and Angelo Mendez as a full shareholder and managing partner.
After rising to fame as MTV’s longest running VJ, Montero has gone on to work as a host and producer on Celebrity Car Wars, Survivor Philippines, GMA 7, and Fox Sports, and Discovery Channel’s Worst Vacation Ever, and GOOD TIMES on Magic 89.9, among others.
Now, Montero will be leveraging his broad media network in his new role leading a company built around livestreaming content.
“While viewership growth on Kumu across all demographics is high, it is particularly high among Gen Z and Millennial viewer,” Montero said. “This popularity shows the inherent appeal of the platform. Fans and content creators alike enjoy interacting live with one another in a way that is not scripted or filtered like television, but identical to the authenticity and intimacy of a one-on-one conversation between close friends.”
Montero’s involvement in Kumu is part of a growing worldwide trend of celebrities taking increasingly larger roles in the tech ecosystem, starting with US-based actor Ashton Kutcher, who built a $250 million portfolio investing in the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Pinterest. Even post-NBA retirement Kobe Bryant is setting his sights on Silicon Valley with his venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel. Still others are becoming founders, such as Jessica Alba, who founded The Honest Company in 2011 and at one point reached a billion dollar valuation.
“It would be great if more local celebrities could take on a larger role at up-and-coming tech companies,” Montero said. “I believe the story of Kumu will convince many of them to do so. In Kumu, they’ll witness a scrappy startup innovate a traditional field that has gone unchanged for far too long. They’ll want skin in the game once they see how we democratize the media landscape.”