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Nollywood website iROKOtv wins $8mn funding round

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Africa , 17 Dec 2013

Nollywood website iROKOtv wins $8mn funding round

Nollywood internet streaming service iROKOtv has won a funding round of $8 million by investment firms that include Tiger Global, Sweden- based Kinnevik and US-headquartered Rise Capital.

According to a press statement, this brings the total funding raised by iROKOtv to $21 million.

iROKOtv claims to have one million monthly users and over 5,000 films.

The company says that to-date, capital raised has been used to acquire content, expand its London-based technology team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters.

Moreover, the company adds that capital acquired is planned to help transition its audience from being primarily diaspora-based to those in Africa, as well as migrating from a largely advertising supported model to more of a subscription service.

In July 2012, iROKOtv introduced a subscription service (SVOD) to its site, dubbed iROKOtv PLUS, where for $7.99 a month, subscribers are the first to access the 12 brand new movies uploaded onto the site every month.

The iROKOtv PLUS business is the largest single source of revenue for the company, adds the statement.

However, 95% of content on iROKOtv continues to be free and is supported by an advertising (AVOD) business model.

50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US alone, says the company.

Bastian Gotter (pictured right), the firm’s chief operating officer and co-founder says: “This additional capital allows us to consolidate our position as VOD market leaders for Africa, invest in tech, content and infrastructure and, importantly, we are now in a position to become profitable by 2015, which is an extraordinary feat for any start-up, let alone an African VOD one like ours.”

Jason Njoku (pictured left), CEO and co-founder of iROKOtv in a statement, said: “The $8 million raised by Tiger Global, Kinnevik and Rise Capital will further fuel our expansion and help us to realise our long term goal of becoming one of Africa’s preeminent media companies.”

“We started life three years ago as a Nollywood content aggregator on a YouTube channel and today we find ourselves with a VC-backed dedicated VOD platform, watched in 178 countries around the world, with one million unique visitors a month.

“These metrics were achieved with hard work from a great international team and today’s news allows us to continue in the same vein and accelerate our growth,” adds Njoku.

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