Through this transaction, Canal+ acquires a 10% stake in iROKO alongside a follow-on investment by existing shareholder Kinnevik, as part of a total funding round of US$14 million. The proceeds of the round will be used by iROKO, dubbed the “Netflix of Africa”, to finance and produce local content and to enhance its product and engineering teams in Lagos and New York. In addition, Canal+ and iROKO are partnering to launch the first subscription video on demand service (SVOD) aimed at bringing affordable mobile TV content to the more-than 250 million French-speakers across 23 countries in Africa.
“Now that Canal+ is close to having two million pay TV households in Africa, our ambition is to widen our audience to those whose mobile is the main entertainment device. iROKO’s original approach integrating popular content production and mobile SVOD perfectly matches our group’s entertainment vision in French-speaking Africa,” said Jacques du Puy, president of Canal+ Overseas, in a statement issued by the company. “This will also allow us to make more accessible the content that we specifically produce and design for the African market.”
The Orrick team advising Canal+ was led by London corporate partner Jinal Shah and included associate Alice Edwards.