ICEC

iflix secures additional $133 mln funding led by US media firm Hearst

Malaysian streaming video provider iflix announced Monday it had completed a $133 million funding round as it continues to deliver on its vision of bringing the world’s best entertainment to its audiences.

iflix, is a major Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service provider for emerging markets.

The funding round, which attracted significant interest from both new investors and existing shareholders, was led by U.S. media major Hearst, and also included additional new investors Singapore-based EDBI and 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 significant position in emerging markets, setting a new standard for delivering a world-class streaming entertainment service, passionately focused on local customer experiences.

Over the last 12 months, the service has seen substantial growth across all segments of the business, expanding from four markets to 19 across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has additionally 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 also achieved another significant growth across subscriber numbers and engagement by 3x and 2x 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 a 230 percent growth in year on year revenue, and increased its commitment to localization, 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 programs and library content from over 230 studio partners from 30 countries.

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.

“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,” Mark Britt, iflix Co-founder and Group CEO, said.

Founding shareholders Evolution Media and Catcha Group have participated in all preceding capital raisings and further increased their support this round.

“As a founding partner of iflix, Evolution Media, along with Catcha Group and Mark, were inspired by the opportunity to reach the ‘next’ 1bn consumers.  The phenomenal growth of iflix has challenged many of the preconceptions we have in Hollywood about how entertainment is consumed in emerging markets around the world. It’s fascinating to see iflix learn, scale and forge this new path.” Rick Hess, Evolution Media Founder and Co-Managing Partner said.

iflix was advised by Moelis & Company LLC, Delta Partners and Herbert Smith Freehills on the transaction.

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