iROKO announces content development and capital funding deals


African mobile entertainment and internet TV pioneer, iROKO, has signed multiple
deals totalling $19m, both in content development and in capital funding. French
media giant CANAL+, together with existing investor Kinnevik AB, are investing in
addition to iROKO’s own cash flow to give the leading African tech and
entertainment company the platform to scale its operations and expand
aggressively across the continent.

iROKO will channel the investment into local content financing and production, as
well as its product and engineering teams in Lagos and New York. The ambition is
to produce at least 300 hours of original content in 2016, with the expectation of
doubling that by 2018. This will enable the company to build on its already
extensive catalogue, making it arguably one of the largest libraries of local African
content. The announcement also sees Jacques du Puy, president of Canal+
Overseas, join the iROKO board.

Jason Njoku, CEO and co-founder of iROKO says: “With millions more Africans
poised to come online via mobile in the coming years, our mission is to lead
viewers to content they’ll love. This is something the vast majority of the continent
struggles with today. We hope to bridge that divide, and this additional investment
supports such a plan. For us, there is no version of reality where the marriage
between Africa’s most powerful communication tool [mobile] and the most prolific
and loved entertainment provider [Nollywood] won’t be a joyous union.’

Mobile phone subscriptions in Africa are almost at 1 billion and by 2019, it is
predicted that smartphone handsets, with which viewers can watch content, will
make up 73% of the continent’s devices.

Njoku adds: “The challenges surrounding mobile TV in Africa are mighty, but not
insurmountable. It’s human to be entertained and connect over community and we
are obsessed with creating Africa’s largest community around local content. We
have always been crazily bold in our ambitions to bring the content closer to
viewers and build a truly frictionless and inclusive entertainment experience. Today’s news improves those odds.’

Fabrice Faux, CFO of Canal+ Overseas says: “We congratulate Jason and all the
iROKO team and investors for their outstanding achievement so far and we are
proud to partner for the scale-up in French-speaking Africa, with clear ambitions
and the means to reach them.’


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here