Nigerian based company iROKO Partners, the world’s leading online distributor of Nigerian movies and music, announced that it has raised US$2 million in a final round of funding from Swedish-based Kinnevik, an early investor in Groupon.
Jason Njoku, the founder and chief executive of iROKO Partners, commented: “We were already on our way towards becoming a world class company, but this investment is an awesome catalyst for us to increase our offering and solidify our market leadership.”
He said that Kinnevik’s vast experience of working in emerging markets, combined with the momentum that iROKO Partners has gained in aggregating the African Diaspora is a winning combination.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have Kinnevik’s expertise on our board and we’re looking into new and innovative ways that we can bring incredible Nigerian entertainment to the world,” Njoku said.
The additional investment is said to be used to grow iROKO Partners’ operations in New York, London and Lagos.
Also it is expected that the Nigerian media content provider will use the funds for purchasing more content for its platforms iROKOtv (movies) and iROKING (music).
This new deal is reported to form part of iROKO Partners’ second round of investment with U.S.-based hedge fund, Tiger Global, in April 2012.
With headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria and with offices in London and New York, and a staff complement of just under 100, iROKO Partners was set up in December 2010 to bring Nigerian movies (Nollywood) and music to the African Diaspora.
Its platform has over 5600,000 registered users and will be moving to a subscription-based model on July 1, 2012.
Mia Brunell Livfors, President and CEO of Investment AB Kinnevik, said: “We are impressed by the growth and entrepreneurship of iROKO Partners. In two years it has become one of Africa’s top tech companies and a global leader in the distribution of Nigerian movies and music, one of the largest and fastest content categories in the world. The predicted growth for the sector is exciting and iROKO is delivering this content to a global audience and building an online entertainment hub.”
iROKOtv, has been groundbreaking in bringing over 5,000 Nollywood films to the African Diaspora, with viewers logging on from over 178 countries across the world. To date, over 10 million hours of Nollywood movies have been watched on Irokotv.com.