The company plans to launch this service, touted as the Asian answer to American video-streaming company Netflix, some time next month, and co-founder and CEO Patrick Grove has verbalised a target to position iflix as “the first serious, credible and sizable Asean internet company to be floated on the Nasdaq”.
The Singapore-born Grove was quoted in CNBC’s Managing Asia’s feature programme.
iflix will likely feature popular Hollywood content from Warner Bros and MGM.
Aside from Western programmes, iflix will also bulk up its collection with Asian programmes, ranging from Cantonese-language Hong Kong dramas to South Korean hit series, in order to compete head-on with its bigger and more established rivals, it was reported.
Grove plans to expand iflix into other parts of Southeast Asia over the next three to six months and is betting big on the region’s booming smartphone usage, which could hit 700 million by 2019, according to a report.
“One of the things we love about Southeast Asia is that it’s now a bigger market than America. 700 million people here want to be entertained on their phones, but there are only 280 million people in America,” the entrepreneur-investor said. “Netflix can be the pre-eminent product in the developed world and iflix will be the equivalent in the developing world over the next two years.”
The Kuala Lumpur-based tech investment firm is also looking to cultivate some startup under Catcha Ventures, which was set up in October last year.
Catcha Ventures has completed seven investments, ranging from $1 to $5 million each, in Pakistan and Myanmar. Some of its investments were completed under Frontier Digital Ventures, which identifies online classifieds businesses within frontier markets to invest in.
Grove and Catcha Group executive director Luke Elliott are listed as the investors in Frontier Digital Ventures.
Grove said the venture firm’s focus is on new media, technology and mobile companies with the potential to penetrate into emerging markets.
“If there is a category where the existing players are lazy, then we want to be there. We want to shake things up. We want to be the trouble-maker. We want to be the disruptor.”