Nigerian-based streaming platform Iroko TV plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Alternative Investment Market in the next 12 months, TechCrunch reports. The company plans to raise $30 million or less than it did in January 2016.
In an interview with Tech Crunch explaining why the company is not planning to raise more than it did in 2016, co-founder Jason Njoku said: “We don’t need more. To be honest, $10 million to $15 million will be for corporate development; the rest will be secondaries for shareholders. As a private company, IROKO’s valuation was never priced above $70 million so anything in our target range wouldn’t be a down round at all.”
“Especially if you consider in that time we exited ROK for close to the total amount of capital we raised for IROKO; we have returned $11 million to early investors and shareholders already. We still have material capital left from the ROK-Canal+ acquisition coming in every six months until 2023.”
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Iroko TV had planned listing on the LSE back in 2019 but a few mishaps derailed that move. After putting a few things in proper check, the company is confident enough to go public.
“What we can achieve in private, we can equally achieve as a public company. We will likely open up the IPO to our loyal members too so they can capture the value too, which I am super excited about. One thing about IROKO is that we have always been pioneers and we’re okay being super experimental,” Njoku told TechCrunch. “I plan to open-source the entire process so any other African company coming behind — if we’re successful — will benefit from our experience.”
Iroko TV, founded by Njoku and Bastian Gotter, is regarded as one of the largest streaming services in West Africa, featuring mostly Nigerian and Ghanaian movies. The company saw its subscription drop by 70% during the imposition of lockdown measures by governments across the sub-region. However, subscriptions in the US and UK saw a remarkable 200% growth.
Njoku told TechCrunch that this helped financially cushion the company as it gears up for growth plans this year. “The costs of pursuing Africa growth is what was really resized dramatically,” he told TechCrunch. “We pulled back to focus on where our economics actually makes sense. Our international business organically grew double-digit in 2020 and we expect it to continue this way for the foreseeable future.”