iflix, an SVoD service for emerging markets, has completed a $133 million funding round as it continues to deliver on its vision of bringing the world’s best entertainment to its audiences.
The funding round, which attracted significant interest from both new investors and existing shareholders, was led by Hearst and 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 Inc. also increased their investments.
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.
Over the last 12 months, the service has seen strong growth across all segments of the business, expanding from four markets to 19 across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company has built distribution partnerships with 27 telecommunications operators to bundle the iflix service with customers’ mobile and data subscriptions.
iflix Co-founder and Group CEO Mark Britt 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.”
President of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Neeraj 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.”
Founding shareholders Evolution Media and Catcha Group have participated in all preceding capital raisings and further increased their support this round.
iflix was advised by Moelis & Company LLC, Delta Partners and Herbert Smith Freehills on the transaction.