Philippines: PLDT turns $15m investment in iflix into shares, now holds 7.5%

Visual from PLDT's website.

Philippine telecom and digital services provider PLDT Group said it has converted its $15 million investment in iflix from convertible notes into ordinary shares of stock.

This comes close on the heels of iflix raising $45 million in a recent funding round led by Sky PLC, a leading entertainment firm in Europe. Indonesia-based Emtek Group through its subsidiary PT Surya Citra Media Tbk (SCMA) also made additional investment.

iflix is Southeast Asia’s leading internet TV service provider that was launched in Kuala Lumpur last June 2015. A few weeks before its market debut, it raised an additional $30 million in funding from its parent firm Catcha Group of Malaysia and PLDT.

Also read: Malaysia: Europe’s Sky pumps $45m into iflix, forms strategic partnership

Under the terms of PLDT’s initial investment in iflix last April 2015, where it subscribed for non-redeemable convertible notes, the new round of funding triggers the automatic conversion of the telco’s convertible notes into ordinary shares and the termination of the Convertible Note Agreement.

As a result, PLDT’s shares now account for 7.5 per cent of the total equity stock of iflix which had a post money valuation of $450 million.

“This new round of funding validates our investment in iflix last year. It enables the company to further strengthen its leadership position and improve its Internet TV services to the benefit of subscribers, particularly those of PLDT and Smart,” said PLDT and Smart Communications chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Also read: Video-on demand startup iflix raises $30m before SEA launch

iflix aims to use the fresh funds it raised to accelerate its growth in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, as well as for expansion into new markets.

As of end-2015, the video-on demand startup had a total of over a million subscribers, mostly coming from the Philippines.

In a statement, Sky PLC said that, apart from investing in iflix, the two parties will hold further discussions to identify areas of future collaboration in the high-growth emerging markets in which iflix operates.

Sky is touted as Europe’s largest media company and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It operates a satellite broadcasting service and an on-demand internet video streaming service as well as broadband and telephone services. An investor in television content, Sky serves 21 million customers in 5 European countries – UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Italy.

PLDT’s last trading price increased 0.24 per cent or P4.00 to close at P1,704.

Also read:

iFlix, PLDT Group kick off SEA launch of Internet TV

Philippines: Digital marketing platform AppCard raises $20m Series B led by PLDT Capital

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.