Iroko co-founder to leave company
Iroko co-founder to leave company
Internet TV operator Iroko has confirmed that its original seed investor, co-founder and CFO Bastian Gotter is to step down from his position, effective January 2017, and will be replaced by Lauren Miller, who will take up the role of CFO from the company's London office.
After four years at the company, Gotter has decided to pursue investment opportunities in startup operations in Africa, specifically those "at the bottom of the pyramid".
"My investment thesis evolves around 90% of African consumers that are today completely underserved with regards to their financial, healthcare, education, entertainment and energy needs. Emerging technologies like the android platform, voice based interfaces and artificial intelligence are making it possible for the first time to serve these consumers profitably and at scale," says Gotter.
In its statement Iroko says during his tenure Gotter has been pivotal in the company's meteoric growth, having raised an additional US$33Mn from new and existing investors, and has also overseen key organisational infrastructure and built out a number of the company's tech functions.
"In conjunction with his work at Iroko, Gotter and his business partner, Njoku, have seed invested in Lagos-based tech start-ups through Spark, their $2.5M investment platform. Together, they have invested in and worked with some of Nigeria's hottest technology companies, including Hotels.ng and ToLet.com.ng, both of whom have gone on to raise additional investment rounds," the company adds.
Gotter says the decision was not sudden and he had been working on it for some time. "Over the last five years, Iroko has grown from a one-bedroom pipe dream to a multi-million dollar global media brand. The company has seen so much change, and job roles have gone from being 'all hands on deck' to highly specialised. I morphed into the role of CFO but that was never my ambition, I was just good with numbers. So at the beginning of 2016, Jason and I started to look for a seasoned CFO to come and join the Iroko family."
"My departure is bittersweet; naturally, I'm sad to leave the company that has been central to my life for so long, but I couldn't be more excited to embark on a new journey, searching for and building up the next wave of truly exciting African tech companies."
Jason Njoku, Iroko CEO and co-founder adds, "Iroko would not be the company it is today, without Bastian's seed investment and faith in me to 'figure out Nollywood'. In 2010, Bastian put his money where my mouth was, and together we embarked on the huge adventure of building an African entertainment brand that has changed the face of media consumption on the continent forever. This is no small feat.
"Everyone at Iroko, the board, and our investors, thank him for his unswerving commitment to helping build Iroko, and we wish him all the very best on his new journey. The companies he goes on to work with and invest in will find an experienced, dedicated and shrewd partner".
In 2010, Gotter invested $150,000 for a 50% stake in Iroko, and later, when the company closed on Series A investment from Tiger Global in early 2012, left his role as a London-based Oil trader at BP to relocate to Lagos and take up the reins as Iroko's COO and CFO.
Gotter has retained the majority of his shares in Iroko.