Netflix rival iflix, which to date has been working to build its toehold in APAC markets including, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, today said it had added three executives to its roster with an eye toward additional international expansion outside of Southeast Asia.
The company in December said it was looking to raise $150 million to expand to Africa, the Middle East and Central Europe, with plans on broadening its subscriber base across APAC as well. One big name investor, Sky, kicked in $45 million.
iflix, which launched just a year ago, has a lot of competition in APAC already, including Netflix, Singtel’s HOOQ (which has the backing of Sony and warner Bros.) and a bevy of other local and regional players.
CEO Mark Britt told CNBC that iflix isn’t competing directly with Netflix, instead keeping its eye on markets where smartphones are more likely the No. 1 screen consumers turn to.
“We don't think about big global domination, we think about emerging markets,” he said, where some 2.5 billion users are already smartphone equipped. And, he said, markets like China, where pirated DVDs remain a hot property, are “where iflix is focused."
iflix also has been building its content stores, last month signing a multi-year content deal with NBCUniversal International Distribution.
The company’s new execs include:
- Christian Toksvig, as head of International business. Toksvig was the CEO of Stock Unlimited.
- Nader Sobhan, as head of Middle East and North Africa. Sobhan founded Iktomi which has operations in Dubai, Barcelona and Bangkok. And,
- Andre De Wet as head of Africa. De Wet was CEO of Price Check, one of Africa's fastest-growing e-commerce sites
“I am incredibly excited to welcome Christian, Nader, and Andre to our growing family,” said Britt. “Localization is the key to iflix’s strategy and with their outstanding track record and proven expertise in international expansion and business development, I am confident they will drive the business forward into exciting, new markets following on demand.”
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