The firm raised a $30 million series A round last year to boost its rollout across the region and to emulate Netflix in producing original content
Rupert Murdoch’s European broadcaster Sky announced on Wednesday that it’s investing $45 million in iFlix, which is Southeast Asia’s answer to Netflix.
The funding comes two months after the startup was threatened by a major rival as Netflix arrived in Asia. It was part of Netflix’s expansion to 130 nations around the world.
iFlix – available in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines – will use the funding “for expansion into new markets on the back of strong demand for the service,” said the startup this afternoon in an email.
The firm raised a $30 million series A round last year to boost its rollout across the region and to emulate Netflix in producing original content. Despite the homegrown and first-mover advantage in Southeast Asia, iFlix is expanding slowly – and it’s now far behind Netflix.
iFlix seems to be feeling the heat from Netflix. “In response to both the rapid growth and customer adoption in our existing markets and strong demand from new markets, we have decided to accelerate our expansion plans for the business sooner than expected,” said iFlix co-founder Mark Britt.
Sky won’t just be throwing cash at iFlix – it’ll be helping it expand. “The parties will work together to identify areas of future collaboration across the high-growth emerging markets, in which iFlix operates,” said a Sky statement in the Hollywood Reporter. Sky CFO Andrew Griffith described the Malaysia-based startup as having “quickly established itself as Southeast Asia’s most exciting and fastest-growing streaming TV service.”
Indonesia’s Emtek Group also participated in the round through its Surya Citra Media subsidiary.
This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.