On-demand video streaming startup iflix, an emerging markets rival to Netflix, has effectively pulled out of Africa after selling its business in the region to telco group Econet Global Limited.
According to an official statement, the deal sees telecoms firm Econet buying the Malaysia-based iflix’ remaining stake in iflix Africa, to add to its existing significant stake in the company.
The deal size or details were not disclosed. Post the deal, iflix’s footprint comes down to 23 countries, largely across Southeast Asia and West Asia.
The initial investment by Econet came in early in 2018, eight months after iflix first the launch of its service in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in June 2017.
The investment saw the two companies join forces to expand iflix Africa, later rebranded as Kwesé iflix, into East and Southern Africa.
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.
For Econet, which is an international group with pan-African origins, the completion of this transaction follows its 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,” said Econet CEO Hardy Pemhiwa.