KUALA LUMPUR: Leading subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service provider, iflix, has secured US$90 million to support its international expansion.

The financing includes new investors – 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; and a private investment management firm with interests across Africa.

The SVod operator said 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.

iflix co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Mark Britt said they are excited with the demand iflix is seeing 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 to 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”, he said today.

Britt added that 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.

“It is our aim to make iflix available to each and every one of them. Having exceptional partners (like) Liberty Global, Zain, Sky PLC, Evolution Media and Catcha Group which 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” he said.

Sky Plc Group Chief Operating Officer Andrew Griffith said 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 Southeast Asia and expanding its footprint into new regions, Griffith said.

“We are pleased to continue our support, as iflix moves on to the next stage of growth, making its world class service available to millions of consumers in MENA and Africa”, he added.

Liberty Global’s Chief Programming Officer, Bruce Mann, said: “Investing in an innovative emerging business like iflix enables the company to gain an even greater insight into SVoD services, as it continues to develop its own evolving video entertainment propositions for millions of our customers throughout Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Catcha Group Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Patrick Grove said that when iflix was established, it 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,” he said.

Since going live in May 2015, iflix has rapidly established a significant leadership position, setting a new standard for delivering a world class streaming entertainment service that is passionately focused on the local customer.

With more than 27x daily active accounts growth, iflix has seen continued momentum in user engagement, with over 5 billion minutes streamed since launch.

With more than 170 content relationships across Hollywood, regional and local studios and distributors, iflix offers users the broadest and most comprehensive selection of content available.

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, to make its world class service available in the MENA region.

Offering consumers a vast library of top Hollywood, Asian regional, and local TV shows and movies, including many first-run exclusives and award-winning programs, each subscription allows users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever. iflix subscribers can also download TV shows and movies from iflix’s extensive catalogue for offline viewing.

Source: By Business Times – March 8, 2017 @ 9:59am