Swedish funds found for African online film distributor

lappy  Elvert BarnesThe Nigerian movie industry is considered the third largest after Hollywood and India’s Bollywood. (Image source: Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

Online distributor of African movies, Iroko Partners, has received US$2 million funding from a Swedish firm, which it has said it will use to take its service to cable and satellite TV partners in the US and Europe

Nigeria-based company, The Lagos, raised the funds from Sweden’s Kinnevik, an early investor in Groupon Inc. Iroko had previously raised $8 million from US-based hedge fund Tiger Global in April.

Kinnevik investments head, Henrik Persson, said his firm, which has invested in African telecoms, saw tremendous opportunity in African media and online services.

He said, “We see a really strong growth trend in the African film industry. A part of our investment philosophy is that we think that the perceived risk is higher than the real risk in this market.”

Iroko has focused on forming partnerships with most of Nigeria’s leading filmmakers for distribution on its own platform as well as with major partners like Google’s YouTube.

Although the majority of Iroko’s operations are based in Lagos, it also has set up offices in London and New York.

Founder Jason Njoku said the majority of the company’s revenues come from users across the African Diaspora in the United States, the UK and Canada, as well as other countries outside the continent.

The Nigerian movie industry is acknowledged as the third largest after Hollywood and India’s Bollywood in terms of the number of movies produced. 

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