Clifftop Colony Capital Partners has led a consortium of South African and international angel investors backing iono.fm with R2.5 million (approximately $175,000) of seed capital. The deal marks the first infusion of equity in the online audio platform which has been self-funded since its founding in 2008.
The fresh capital will be used to consolidate iono.fm’s domestic operations as well as invest in the development of the company’s streaming and podcasting services. Radio stations and independent podcasters upload their audio content to the platform, which as well as hosting the content uses a proprietary streaming solution to distribute the content online.
The Cape Town-headquartered company boasts a client list of over 2, 000 local and international channels, including traditional FM radio stations SAFM and 5FM as well as noted international brands like the BBC, Deutsche Welle and TED. Revenues are generated from the sale of hosting and streaming services as well as “percentage platform fees” on the value of advertising campaigns executed via iono.fm’s targeted advertising technology. Phillips, Investec, Standard Bank, Jaguar and Pepsi, amongst others, have all used the platform for distribution of audio adverts.
“We have tracked iono.fm’s progress over the past four years and are deeply impressed with the team’s resilience, commitment and the world-class technology they have built,” said Oliver Drews, Clifftop Colony’s CEO, commenting on the deal. “We look forward to the partnership with Ryan and his team and hope that we can contribute to building this business in the years to come.”
The deal, which was led by Clifftop Colony’s Kevin Mahoney, is the third for the portfolio that the company is building alongside its mainstream ventures business. Bowmans provided legal advisory services to all parties on the transaction.