iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies, known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’, today announces a funding round of $8Mn, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik and introducing new investor to this round, US-based Rise Capital. This brings the total raised to $21Mn, arguably making iROKOtv one of the best-funded internet companies in Africa today.
iROKOtv is the leading Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content and following the announcement of the $8Mn investment, the company will continue to focus its attention on growing traffic, content curation and building a platform-agnostic distribution system for its 1Mn monthly users.
To-date, the capital raised by iROKOtv has been used to acquire content, expand the London-based tech team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters. iROKOtv now holds the world’s largest online catalogue of African content, with over 5,000 movies.
The new capital will be channelled at building and transitioning the company’s audience from a primarily Diaspora base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad supported model to more subscription service. Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US alone, but with the continent coming online, demand for homegrown multi-platform video content is rising fast. There will also be a renewed focus on monetizing iROKOtv’s catalogue through its SVOD service, iROKOtv PLUS, as well as through its strategic distribution partnerships with global airlines and TV channels.
“The $8Mn 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,” says Jason Njoku, CEO and co-founder. “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.”