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iflix lands $133mln from Hearst-led consortium

iflix, a private equity-backed video-streaming business which raised $90 million earlier this year to support its expansion ambitions in the Middle East and Africa, has raised another $133 million. The latest round of funding was led by Hearst, the large American diversified media company who get a board seat as part of the deal, as well as Singapore-based investors EDBI and DBS Private Bank. Existing backers Evolution Media, Sky, Catch Group, Liberty Global, Jungle ventures and PLDT also participated, upping their investment in the new round.

The fresh capital will be used to support iflix’s local content strategy. The emerging markets-focused Subscription Video on Demand service was launched in 2015, and, while most of it current clients are located in South East Asia, the firm now has a presence  in 19 markets across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company recently unveiled its first exclusive original production, Oi Jaga Mulut, a stand-up comedy series which debuted in Malaysia last week and has just announced a collaboration with the Philippines’ Kris Aquino, to commission an original drama series.

In partnering with Hearst, iflix will be able to leverage the company’s significant media and content industry expertise. Welcoming their investment, iflix Co-founder and Group CEO Mark Britt noted “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.”

iflix Africa is headquartered in Cape Town and plans to launch its South African service during the current quarter. The firm also has plans to launch in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

 

 

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