The iflix SVOD service has completed a $133 million funding round, led by Hearst.
The funding round also included additional new investors Singapore-based EDBI and clients of DBS private bank. Existing shareholders Evolution Media, Sky PLC, Catcha Group, Liberty Global, Jungle Ventures and PLDT increased their investments.
Over the last 12 months, iflix has seen growth across all segments of the business, expanding from four markets to 19 across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The new round brings total funding raised by iflix this calendar year to an excess of $220 million. Proceeds from the round will be used to invest in its local content strategy.
Mark Britt, iflix’s co-founder and group CEO, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Hearst President and CEO Steven Swartz and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication President Neeraj Khemlani to the iflix family. As iflix continues to grow and pioneer new ways for consumers to enjoy entertainment on their terms, we were looking for a partner who could bring additional expertise and knowledge to our business. Hearst is a leading investor and has many of the world’s most innovative and iconic video brands, including ESPN, A+E Networks, Vice, AwesomenessTV, Complex and more. This collaboration significantly deepens our bench of experts with our longstanding partners Evolution Media, Sky and Liberty Global to help drive iflix’s continuing growth.
“From the beginning, our vision for iflix has been to build a world-class service for the local customer, transforming the way everyday consumers enjoy entertainment in emerging markets. These new funds will allow us to further execute on our local content strategy and expand our technology and development teams so we can continue to rapidly evolve the iflix service to meet the unique challenges of emerging markets.”
Khemlani said: “iflix is riding the wave of exponential growth of the middle class in emerging markets that want more access to premium regional, local and Western content. We look forward to working with our new partners Sky, Liberty Global, Evolution Media and Catcha Group, as well as emerging market telcos, to support iflix’s innovative founders and management team in their rapid expansion plans.”