Malaysia-based video streaming platform iflix is deferring a proposed initial public offering (IPO) in Australia as it seeks to raise fresh funding from private investors, according to multiple industry sources.
The company is understood to be seeking to raise around $50 million from its existing investors.
iflix was reported to be targeting a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) before the end of 2019 and had appointed Macquarie Capital and UBS as joint lead managers. In preparation for the IPO, iflix had in September submitted its audited financial statement for fiscal 2018 to the Australian regulator, which showed its after-tax losses had ballooned to nearly $160 million.
“For legal reasons, we cannot comment publicly about any IPO. As far as funding goes, there is no specific additional round, but we are always talking to strategic partners,” the company said in response to DealStreetAsia queries on its IPO and fundraising.
The company had in July last year announced the close of an unspecified funding round led by Fidelity International. It is understood that its previously announced investments from content producers in Indonesia (MNC Group), Japan (Yoshimoto Kogyo) and South Korea (JTBC) were part of the same round.
According to its September filing with the Australian regulator, iflix had in 2019 raised $47.5 million through convertible loan notes and issued Series C preference shares worth $3 million and ordinary shares worth $15.5 million in lieu of content and marketing payments.
The filing also indicated that the firm’s cash reserves of $12.7 million were only enough to meet ongoing corporate and administrative expenses till 30 November 2019, subject to extension of terms with content suppliers. It is unclear how the company has been able to extend its operational runway.
The Catcha Group-backed company capped off 2019 with its co-founder Mark Britt announcing in December that he was stepping down from the CEO role after more than five years at the firm’s helm. Britt had said he will continue to be part of the startup as a full-time executive director and named Marc Barnett, the firm’s managing director, as the company’s next CEO.
Founded in 2014, iflix has raised over $360 million in funding to date from investors including US-based Hearst Communications, Singapore-based EDBI, Liberty Global, Zain, Sky Plc, and Los Angeles-based merchant bank Evolution Media Capital.
The startup now claims to be present in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, the Maldives, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, and Bangladesh. In December 2018, it pulled out of Africa after the sale of its regional business to telecom firm Econet Global.