Southeast Asia’s digital entertainment service iflix has received an undisclosed amount in lieu of an equity from Indonesian integrated media company PT Media Nusantara Citra Tbk (MNC).
In an announcement on Friday, iflix – Southeast Asia’s version of Netflix – said that the startegic partnership will significantly enhance iflix content programming mix.
MNC chose to invest equity in iflix because it believes that the latter “will grow significantly in the near future,” said David Fernando Audy, CEO, MNC. With the partnership, he will now be a part of iflix’s Advisory Board.
iflix will be able to procure 10,000 hours of content from MNC’s top programmes for immediate exclusive streaming on iflix. The iflix spokesperson said that the deal gave a “massive boost” to its local content strategy without divulging any financial details of the transaction.
Indonesia-listed MNC, that claims to be the largest media group in Southeast Asia, has a portfolio that includes four national free-to-air TV stations, which account for 46 per cent share of Indonesia’s ad-based television, in addition to 20 subscription-based channels, the country’s largest radio network and print media.
All iflix viewers in Indonesia will have direct access to MNC’s most popular titles, including Dunia Terbalik, Cinta Yang Hilang and Top Tukang Ojek Pengkolan.
“Indonesia continues to be an incredibly important market for iflix and MNC’s influence and resources in the industry are a powerful advantage for us in the execution of our strategy as we continue to cement our leadership as a digital entertainment service in Indonesia,” said Mark Britt, iflix Co-Founder and Group CEO.
iflix is currently available to consumers in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar and Vietnam, besides its Malaysia headquarters. Further, it’s also available in countries including Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia among others. Last December, it had pulled out of Africa after the sale of its regional business to telco Econet Global.
The Malaysia-based video streaming firm raised an undisclosed amount in a ‘significant’ strategic investment from Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo last month and also an unspecified amount in strategic funding from JTBC Content Hub, the content distribution arm of South Korean media company JTBC.
These were part of a series of investments and partnerships for iflix that was founded in 2014 by Britt and Catcha Group CEO Patrick Grove. The company last raised $133 million in September 2017 in a funding round, led by US-based Hearst Communications and Singapore-based EDBI as well as clients of DBS Private Bank. Among other investors in the firm are Liberty Global, Zain, Sky PLC and Los Angeles-based merchant bank Evolution Media Capital.
iflix is also said to be setting the stage for a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange that could value the company at more than $1 billion but it may look to raise more capital – at least in two more financing rounds – before considering going public.