According to the Cable News Network (CNN), one of Africa’s first mainstream film streaming websites, iROKOtv, with over 5,000 Nollywood film titles, is reportedly looking to raise US$150 million in new capital from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). In addition, Chief Executive Officer, IROKO TV, Jason Njoku, told BMA Sources, the film streaming service TV is also looking to launch on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market within the following year.
iROKOtv, dubbed the “Netflix” of Africa, is a subsidiary of iROKO Limited that offers on-demand access to Nigerian films. The digital platform is the world’s largest legal digital distributor of African movies, particularly Nollywood films.
With the sale, Mr Njoku estimates to raise between US$20 million and US$30 million, valuing the company at between US$80 million and US$100 million. He also mentioned that discussions with brokers would commence in the coming weeks.
The move, according to Njoku, was partly prompted by the Naira’s depreciation, which has impacted IROKO TV earnings since 2016. He also stated that the company would emphasise subscribers in North America and Western Europe, as they account for more than 80 per cent of revenue.
The depreciation of the Naira dropped the platform’s subscription costs from US$18 in 2015 to US$8.33 by 2017. Currently, a subscription to the platform costs US$6.3.
Mr Njoku said it was rather strange to learn after nearly nine years with IROKOtv, five of which were spent solely in Africa, that the brand “may be too early for the continent.” However, while the company’s fortunes are waning in Africa, business is thriving internationally, with average revenue per user in the west ranging between US$25 and US$30.