DSA Summit: iflix not looking for funds but open to strategics that add value: Catcha CEO Grove

Catcha Group-backed on-demand video streaming service iflix – the Netflix-like model which has bagged investments worth over $200 million this year – is not looking to raise more funds currently but would be open to strategics that can add value to the business.

“We are not looking to raise more. But whenever there are strategic…if you look at anyone that we have raised from, they are all very strategic shareholders. They have been people who have tremendous global expertise,” Catcha Group’s co-founder and CEO Patrick Grove told DEALSTREETASIA on the sidelines of the flagship event Asia Private Equity–Venture Capital Summit 2017 last week.

Grove added that the team at iflix had built “this great business” where it is always welcoming people and strategic partners who can add significant amount of value beyond the money that they bring.

Earlier this year, the company, that has come to be known as the Asia’s lookalike of Netflix, raised a hefty $133 million led by US media corporation Hearst.

Before that, it raised $90 million in a funding round in March this year which had valued the company at $500 million, with several media reports claiming that iflix may now be valued at $700 million, following the latest financing. The company had revealed that its revenue grew 230 per cent year-on-year at the time of its last fundraising.

iflix, that currently has around 5 million users in the region, targets a customer base of 1 billion, what it needs to be profitable. “If we get to a billion users we will get very profitable,” Grove said.

With regard to competition, he added that even though Netflix and Amazon have similar philosophies, target markets are different for iflix and the larger global players.

“We do not see them as competitors at all. We are actually quite ahead of them in every market that we are together. We see very different consumer propositions and it is targeting the upper class who all speak English and there are so many other people who they don’t target that we target,” Grove said.

The Internet group CEO, who has led five companies from startup to IPO, underlined that iflix will continue to source the best global sources of funding, emphasizing that “the best and cheapest source of capital is an IPO”.

However, he does not see IPO as an exit, but as later stage fundraising for the group’s businesses.

Under the umbrella of Catcha Group, iProperty, iCar Asia, Frontier Digital Ventures and Ensogo (delisted last year) made a debut on the Australia stock market, and Rev Asia is listed on Bursa Malaysia.

iflix bagged over $200 million in funding this year from a wide range of investors including international media groups and telecom operators, to cater low price video streaming services in more than 20 emerging markets globally.

The strategy had propelled iflix to beat bigger players in the markets that they are together, Grove said.

Also read:

Singapore’s EDBI joins $133m round in iflix led by Hearst Communications

Netflix competitor Iflix raises $90m from Liberty Global, Zain, others

Iflix open to raising additional capital from strategic investor: Patrick Grove