Nollywood's iROKOtv secures $8MN in funding

Rebecca Hawkes | 18-12-2013

Nigerian online video-on-demand (VOD) service iROKOtv has raised a further US$8 million to add to the existing $13 million invested since the Lagos-based company was created in 2011.

Investments in traffic, technology and content will follow thanks to the new injection of capital, and the company now expects to become profitable by 2015. This, says Bastien Gotter, iROKOtv's chief operating officer and co-founder is "an extraordinary feat" for an African Internet VOD company.

Jason Njoku, chief executive officer and co-founder, iROKOtv, added: "The US$8 million 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 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, with one million unique visitors a month."

Half of iROKOtv's audience is currently based in the US and the UK, but the young company's eyes are now focussing on Africa, where growing Internet connectivity will increase potential for the multi-platform delivery of home grown content.

iROKOtv also now intends to move to a subscription-based revenue model instead of the current advertising supported service. Plans are afoot to further monetise its catalogue of over 5,000 African movies through distribution partnerships with airlines and television channels.