iflix secures additional $133 million funding

iflix, the world’s leading subscription video on demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets, announced that it has completed a $133-million funding round as it continues to deliver on its vision of bringing the world’s best entertainment to its audience.

iflix promises to provide users with an abandunt library of films and TV shows

News of the deal was released on August 7, 2017. The funding round, which attracted significant interest from both new investors and existing shareholders, was led by Hearst, one of America’s largest diversified media, information, and services companies, and also included additional new investors Singapore-based EDBI and several clients of DBS private bank. Existing shareholders Evolution Media, Sky PLC, Catcha Group, Liberty Global, Jungle Ventures, and PLDT Inc. also increased their investments.

Since going live in May 2015, iflix rapidly established a clear leadership position in emerging markets, setting a new standard for delivering a world-class streaming entertainment service, passionately focused on local customer experience. Over the last 12 months, the service has seen extraordinary growth across all business segments, expanding from four markets to 19 across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Additionally, the company has built deep integrated distribution partnerships with 27 leading telecommunications operators to bundle the iflix service with customers’ mobile and data subscriptions, all sponsored by the telecommunications provider.

During the period, iflix achieved a three and two-fold growth in subscriber numbers and engagement, respectively, and recorded some of the highest average active mobile viewing durations of any service in the world at 2.5-2.75 hours per session. The company saw 230 per cent growth in year-on-year revenue, and increased its commitment to localisation, producing 26,000 hours of subtitles in nine languages, with locally-curated content in every market. iflix’s full content library showcases thousands of award-winning and iconic first run programmes and library content from over 230 studio partners from 30 countries.

President of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Neeraj Khemlani said, “iflix is riding the wave of exponential growth of the middle class in emerging markets that want more access to premium regional, local, and Western content. We look forward to working with our new partners Sky, Liberty Global, Evolution Media and Catcha Group, as well as emerging market telcos, to support iflix’s innovative founders and management team in their rapid expansion plans.”

The new round brings total funding raised by iflix this calendar year to an excess of $220 million. Proceeds from the round will be used to invest in its local content strategy. iflix recently unveiled its first exclusive original production, Oi Jaga Mulut, an audacious, uncensored, no-holds-barred stand-up comedy series, which since debuting in Malaysia last week, has skyrocketed to become the leading show on offer.

Partnering with TVOne, iflix also launched live premiere football streaming, available for the first time in Indonesia, which immediately became one of the highest performing shows in the country with more than 34,000 viewers tuning in the first week of airing. Last week, iflix Philippines announced its collaboration with the Philippines’ Queen of All Media, Kris Aquino, to commission an original drama series.

“As iflix continues to grow and pioneer new ways for consumers to enjoy entertainment on their terms, we were looking for a partner who could bring additional expertise and knowledge to our business. Hearst is a leading investor and has many of the world’s most innovative and iconic video brands, including ESPN, A+E Networks, Vice, AwesomenessTV, Complex and more. This collaboration significantly deepens our bench of experts with our longstanding partners Evolution Media, Sky, and Liberty Global to help drive iflix’s continuing growth,” iflix’s co-founder and group CEO Mark Britt said.

iflix is the leading SVoD service provider for emerging markets, offering users unlimited access to thousands of TV shows and movies from all over the world. With a huge selection of your favorite comedies, drama, Korean drama, Turkish drama, Bollywood, Nollywood, cartoons, movies, and more from Hollywood, The UK, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. iflix places the entertainment you want at your fingertips. For one low monthly fee, iflix subscribers can enjoy their favourite shows on their mobile phone, laptop, tablet, TV—wherever, whenever.

iflix is currently available to consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, and Cambodia.

iflix was officially introduced in  Vietnam on February 28, 2017, promising to provide users with a fresh experience when accessing the service’s abundant resources at a reasonable cost of VND59,000 ($2.6) per month, and VND540,000 ($23.8) per year.

By Trang Vu