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

Liberty Global, the international telecommunications company controlled by American tycoon John Malone, and Zain, a Kuwait-based telecom operator, are investing in iflix, a Malaysian provider of streaming video, iflix announced on Tuesday.

Liberty and Zain, along with existing shareholders Sky PLC, venture capital firm Catcha Group and Los Angeles-based merchant bank Evolution Media Capital, invested $90 million in iflix, the companies announced Tuesday. The companies did not disclose how much each invested and a spokesman for iflix declined to comment on that.

A Liberty spokesman declined to comment on the size of its investment. An e-mail to Zain was not immediately returned.

Liberty and Zain are investing in iflix at a time when more people are watching their favorite shows and movies online.

Two-year old iflix, which has 4.5 million customers, is hoping to be what Netflix is in the United States to viewers in emerging markets, who mainly use their phones to watch shows and movies, Patrick Grove, CEO of Catcha Group and founder of iflix, told Reuters last week.

The streaming video provider, which has deals with more than 170 studios and distributors such as Viacom Inc’s Paramount and MGM, is currently in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines and is planning to enter the Middle East and Africa over the next few months, Grove told Reuters.

For telecommunications companies like Liberty Global, investing in iflix provides insight into the growing streaming video market as it builds its own video entertainment offerings, Bruce Mann, chief programming officer at Liberty said in a statement about the investment.

In September, Liberty struck a deal with Netflix to offer the streaming video service to all of its customers via cable set top boxes.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.