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Things are looking up for iROKOtv, the African-based movie platform for Nollywood. The company just announced a new funding round of US$8-million. The round was led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik and introducing new investor to this round, US-based Rise Capital, bringing the total raised to US$21-million.
“The US$8-million raised by Tiger Global, Kinnevik and Rise Capital will further fuel our expansion and help us to realise our long term goal of becoming one of Africa’s pre-eminent media companies,” said CEO and co-founder Jason Njoku.
iROKOtv is the leading Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content, which was founded three years ago, and now has one million monthly users.
To date the capital raised by iROKOtv has been used to acquire content, expand the London-based tech team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters. iROKOtv now holds the world’s largest online catalogue of African content, with over 5000 movies.
The new capital will be channelled into building and transitioning the company’s audience from a primarily diaspora-base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad-supported model to more of a subscription service. Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US alone, but with the African continent coming online, demand for homegrown multi-platform video content is rising fast. There will also be a renewed focus on monetising iROKOtv’s catalogue through its SVOD service, iROKOtv PLUS, as well as through its strategic distribution partnerships with global airlines and TV channels.
This new round also sees new investor, Rise Capital, brought into the funding series:
“We are very pleased to participate in this round of financing alongside Kinnevik and my former colleagues at Tiger Global. Having worked with Jason, Bastian and the team since their early days, we at Rise Capital look forward to continuing to help them scale their content acquisition and distribution channels and secure their positioning as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest and most impactful media company,” says Nazar Yasin, Managing Partner of Rise Capital.
iROKOtv has aggregated the world’s largest online Nollywood catalogue, now standing at 5000 plus movies and the company has been credited for pioneering VOD for the African continent. Coined by the media as the ‘Netflix of Africa’, iROKOtv has successfully disrupted and reorganised the multi-million dollar Nigerian movie industry’s distribution infrastructure.