Citing “multiple deals totaling $19 million”, mobile entertainment group iROKO TV has secured capital and content from existing investor Kinnevik AB and French media giant CANAL+ to help the Nigeria-based company scale its operations and expand its services across Africa. As part of the deal, Jacques de Puy, President of CANAL+ Overseas joins the iROKO board. Additional terms and details of the deals were not disclosed.
The capital will be used to finance the development of local content as well as build its product and engineering teams in Lagos and New York and help the company achieve its goal of producing at least 300 hours of original content in 2016 and double that by 2018.
iROKO launched in 2011 as a free-to-watch streaming website delivering Nollywood movies to the Nigerian market. Since then the company has evolved into a subscription app where customers download the app onto their mobile device, and watch an unlimited amount of content for a monthly fee. The technology and entertainment company is a leading Nollywood film, TV, content producer and platform provider and holds distribution deals with Canal+, BA, Emirates, Nollywood TV and Lebara.
“With millions more Africans poised to come online via mobile in the coming years, our mission is to lead viewers to content they’ll love,” the statement announcing the deal quoted Jason Njoku, iROKO’s Co-Founder and CEO as saying.” This is something the vast majority of the continent struggles with today. We hope to bridge that divide, and this additional investment supports such a plan.”
iROKO has previously raised $25 million from a group of international investors. As well as Kinnevik AB, Tiger Global and RISE Capital have already invested in the media firm.