Only yesterday German e-commerce incubator and cloning giant Rocket Internet and MTN partnered to develop internet businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH), a vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses across the continent (alongside partner Millicom International Cellular). They took a 1/3 stake but the value was undisclosed. It’s already developed a number of e-commerce ventures in the last 18 months, including Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi, Easytaxi and Hellofood.
The veritable scramble for Africa is continuing, with the news that iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies (known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’) has closed a funding round of $8 million, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik. A new investor to this round is US-based Rise Capital. This brings the total raised to $21 million, which makes iROKOtv one of the best well funded internet companies in Africa today.
iROKOtv a Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content which claims one million monthly users.
To-date, the capital raised has been used to acquire content, expand the London-based tech team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters.
iROKOtv now claims to hold the world’s largest online catalogue of African content, with over 5,000 movies watched in over 178 countries.
The new capital will be used to flip the company’s audience from a primarily Diaspora base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad-supported model to subscription service.
Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US.
Clearly the aim here is to become the Netflix for Africa.