iflix confirms sale of Kwesé iflix to Econet
By Digital News Asia December 21, 2018
IFLIX, the leading entertainment service for emerging markets, has confirmed the sale of the rest of its African business to Econet Global Limited.
Iflix first announced the launch of its service in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in June 2017. Following eight months of rapid growth, the company joined forces with Econet Global Limited, which saw the international group with pan-African origins acquire a significant stake in iflix Africa.
Subsequent to the partnership, iflix Africa, rebranded as Kwesé iflix, expanded into East and Southern Africa becoming Africa’s latest game-changing digital platform. Kwesé iflix offers viewers across the region the most extensive combination of live sport, entertainment and highly acclaimed local African and international series and movies, including first-to-market exclusive programming.
Iflix cofounder and CEO, Mark Britt describes the launching of their service in Africa as, “an incredible journey and learning experience. The acquisition by the Econet Group, our regional partner and Africa’s leading broadcast network, is a significant milestone for the African business, and further reinforces iflix’s commitment to our core markets in Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines which continue to grow from strength to strength.”
The completion of this transaction follows Econet’s recently announced decision to de-emphasise its Kwesé TV direct-to-home service in order to refocus the business towards a digital future. “The conclusion of our acquisition of iflix Africa, is a natural progression for our revised business strategy as a Group, particularly the Kwesé business which offers premium broadcasting services. With the immense growth and positive uptake of VOD and OTT services across the continent, we believe connected services – particularly mobile – is the future of broadcasting in Africa,” expressed Hardy Pemhiwa (pic, right), Chief Executive Officer of Econet Global Limited.
“As Kwesé iflix continues to expand across the continent, we look forward to growing the original programming portfolio by commissioning home-grown content for the benefit of regional media industries. The recently launched Kwesé iflix original, of Kenyan origin, Nganya has already enjoyed immense success, we look forward to continuing this trajectory with the introduction for an impressive slate of original programming with an exciting Tanzanian telenovela set to launch in February 2019.”
Since the launch of Kwesé iflix in June 2018, the platform has grown to become the largest digital aggregator of Free-to-Air channels in Africa. As a testament to its leading edge technology and premium content offering, Kwesé iflix recently took centre stage at AfricaCom 2018 – the largest telecoms, media, and technology event in Africa – winning Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment.
Available to over one billion consumers throughout Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, iflix has established itself as the clear market leader in video streaming. The mutual passion for innovation and technology between the two entities will see iflix continue to provide technical support to Econet Global Limited, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable viewing experience for Kwesé iflix users. As subscription numbers continue to grow each day, Kwesé iflix is well on its way to becoming the number one mobile entertainment app in Africa.
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