March 9, 2017
Photo - Mark Britt, iflix Co-Founder and Group CEO, holds up a mobile device showing the iflix service
Malaysia-headquartered iflix, which is a subscription video on demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets, said it has closed a new round of funding in excess of US$90 million to support the next phase of its international expansion.
iflix co-founder and group chief executive officer Mark Britt said the company is seeing significant demand in the Middle East and Africa, as well as other new markets in Asia and worldwide.
"The new funds will enable us to seize this immense opportunity and continue empower local consumers and provide them with the best content and services available, and the freedom to enjoy that offering whenever and wherever they want, wherever they are in the world," said Britt.
"There are currently more than 2.5 billion people with smartphones in emerging markets who have a passion for cultural influences from around the globe and want access to the best entertainment content available easily and reliably," he said.
"It is our aim to make iflix available to each and every one of them. Having exceptional partners, Liberty Global, Zain, Sky PLC, Evolution Media and Catcha Group who share our vision, will be fundamental to our success as we expand our footprint in Asia and roll out the service in the Middle East and Africa," said Britt.
The new investors are Liberty Global plc, major distributor of TV entertainment, sports and other programming, Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator in the Middle East and Africa with whom iflix recently established a joint venture 'iflix Arabia' in the MENA region, and a privately held investment management firm that invests in consumer businesses across Africa.
Additional capital also came from existing shareholders Sky PLC, Catcha Group and Los Angeles-based Evolution Media, an investment company that partners with entertainment, lifestyle, media, sports, and technology businesses.
Catcha Group co-founder and group chief executive officer Patrick Grove said: "When we founded iflix [live in May 2015], we set out to create an entertainment revolution. In less than two years since launching our service, we have established the leading online entertainment brand in Asia, and are seeing exceptional demand for the service throughout MENA and Africa."
"With an estimated 880 million connected mobile devices in Africa and the Middle East by 2020, the opportunity in the regions is immense. At Catcha Group, we are thrilled to be a part of iflix's exciting journey, and to continue supporting the company in its quest to re-define entertainment for the more than one billion people in emerging markets around the world," said Grove.
Listed on the London stock exchange, Sky Plc's group chief operating officer, Andrew Griffith commented: "iflix is a truly innovative partner. In the last year since Sky joined as a shareholder, we have seen the company surpass its milestones, including consolidating its leading market position in South East Asia and expanding its footprint into new regions."
Liberty Global's chief programming officer, Bruce Mann, said: "Investing in an innovative emerging business like iflix enables us to gain an even greater insight into subscription video on demand services, as we continue to develop our own evolving video entertainment propositions for millions of our customers throughout Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean."
Now available in nine markets across Southeast Asia, iflix recently launched its service in Pakistan and Vietnam, and additionally announced its Joint Venture, iflix Arabia, with Zain.