Malaysian video-streaming service, Iflix, which operates in emerging markets has announced receiving $133 million in funding from a group led by Hearst Corporation, an American information, and media company.
Iflix went live in May of 2015 and has been expanding into 19 markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It has also struck partnerships with 27 telecommunications operators to bundle the Iflix service with customers’ data and mobile subscriptions.
A representative for the company said, “During the period, Iflix also achieved tremendous growth across subscriber numbers and engagement by three times and two times, 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.”
Iflix has been pushing boundaries and moving into original content, deburring in Malaysia with its first original production, a stand-up comedy series called Oi Jaga Mulut. The company has also recently announced a collaboration with the Philippines’ Kris Aquino for an original drama series.
Catcha Group CEO Patrick Grove said, “Today marks the next step in our journey in creating a category-defining company that revolutionizes the way people in emerging markets consume and enjoys the content.”
Hearst Communications is a multinational diversified media and information company group that publishes newspapers and magazines on a daily and weekly basis. They operate radio and televisions stations, along with cable networks, and provide information and solutions to healthcare, finance, and transportation markets.
Adham Enaya is the CEO of GazaPlaces, a mobile and web apps that provide information on nearby events, points of interest, and friends based on user location.
Catcha Group makes investments in small and medium-sized businesses in media, mobile, and e-commerce.
Delta Partners is a venture capital fund that focuses on investments in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
EDBI acts as the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Evolution Media is a provider of non-fiction programming spanning broadcast and cable channels.
Herbert Smith Freehills is an international law firm that is co-headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and London, United Kingdom.
Jungle Ventures is a venture capital fund that offers early-stage investments and infrastructure to startups in Asia Pacific.
Liberty Global is an international cable company that offers broadband internet, telephony, and television services.
Moelis & Company is a global investment bank that provides capital raising, financial advisory, and asset management services to a varied client base of governments, corporations, and institutions.
PLDT is a company providing telecommunications services and products in the Philippines.
Sky is an entertainment company offering satellite, OTT, and broadband services in Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Funding will be used to execute local content strategy and expand the development and technology teams in order to evolve the service to meet challenges in emerging markets.
CEO Mark Britt explains, “These new funds will allow us to further execute on our local content strategy and expand our technology and development teams so we can continue to rapidly evolve the Iflix service to meet the unique challenges of emerging markets.”