iROKOtv, the ‘Netflix of Africa’ raises an extra $8 million

irokotv_nollywoodiROKOtv, the African-based movie platform for Nigerian movies, known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’, has raised a funding round of $8 million, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik and US-based Rise Capital.

This brings the total raised to $21 million, arguably making iROKOtv one of the most well-funded internet companies in Africa today. The company is a Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content and it will use this investment to focus on growing traffic, content curation and building a platform-agnostic distribution system for its one million monthly users.

Previous capital raised by iROKOtv has been used to acquire content, expand a 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 more than 5,000 movies.

“The investment will help us to realise our long-term goal of becoming one of Africa’s pre-eminent 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”, said Jason Njoku, CEO and co-founder iROKOtv.

The new capital will be channeled 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, 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.

Monty (703 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.