Tuesday, August 4Always On-point

Econet Group Takes over Iflix Africa

The Malaysian-based Iflix is looking to concentrate its business operations in Asia where it has the upper hand against industry bigwig, Netflix.

Interestingly, prior to the sale, Econet Group was already heavily invested in Iflix Africa. Iflix, in partnership with Econet’s Kwese pay tv service, launched its Iflix Africa operations way back in June 2017. But in February, Kwese acquired a significant stake in Iflix Africa. The deal led to a name change: Iflix Africa became Kwese Iflix.

Ever since the deal in February however, Iflix has gradually limited its role in the Sub-Saharan division. Although the partnership with Kwese gave it an edge in Africa over rivals like IrokoTV and even Netflix, its uptake was quite poor. The service reportedly had significantly lower patronage compared to other brands.

But worse, with services like Netflix increasing their pool of local African content, Iflix Africa was always going to struggle. In 2018, Netflix budgeted $8 billion for original content production globally. But in perspective, Iflix has only been able to raise $300 million funding since it launched in 2014.

So, although divesting from Africa means significantly reduced global reach, it does allow Iflix leverage to grow in the bubbling Asian market.

Econet Group Scores Another Win
Telecom conglomerate, Econet, has been dangling into a string of non-telecom businesses over the last few years. From logistics to ridesharing and banking, the Zimbabwe company has quickly emerged as a strong player in Africa’s digital frontier. The ownership of Iflix’s Africa operations only helps to amplify this.View image on Twitter


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