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[EXCLUSIVE] What happens when a startup raises RM1.3 bil from private investors?

[EXCLUSIVE] What happens when a startup raises RM1.3 bil from private investors?
MARK: In Azran's tenure as iflix Malaysia country manager, he mentored many of the team leaders who continue to guide and lead our Malaysia business today. He continues to be a part of our culture and leadership in that capacity. - Filepic
IFLIX has recently concluded their latest fundraising round. This time, they’ve raised over half a million ringgit (US$133 mil) from investors led by U.S. conglomerate Hearst. Also in this round are investors such as DBS, Singapore Development Board and U.K. media group Sky.

The startup has thus far raised close to RM1.3 billion (US$300 mil) from private investors. Lead Business Editor of Astro AWANI, Ibrahim Sani spoke briefly to the Group CEO of Iflix, Mark Britt to better understand what a company would do once they’ve raised billions of ringgit of investments.

We also ask him about Azran’s departure from the company.

Ibrahim Sani: You’ve raised $133 mil. What would these funds will be used for?
Mark Britt: The funds will be used to invest in our local content strategy including local cinema releases, productions and originals. Our most popular and impactful shows are predominantly local ones. For example, London Love Story and I Love You from 38,000ft, along with live local premier league football streaming - available for the first time on an OTT service have drawn huge fan bases and popularity amongst local audiences in Indonesia. Oi Jaja Mulut, our first iflix Original received such high demand after the first episode aired, that we made the entire season available on the service shortly after and remains one of our best performing programs in Malaysia (top 3!). We also recently announced our partnership with the Philippines' 'Queen of All Media' Kris Aquino, one of the country's most influential and celebrated actresses and public figures to produce an original drama series.

IS: Could you update us on Iflix’s regional growth progress?

MB: We are currently available in 11 territories in Asia including Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Pakistan. In a number of our markets, it is the first time consumers have been able to access a vast library of the world's best international, regional and local content on a world class service created to be enjoyed on their device of choice (tends to be mobile in emerging markets), with the ability to download shows to watch offline, for a price that anyone can afford. The result is incredibly strong growth and adoption across the region.

READ: Iflix raised half a billion ringgit in latest funding round 

IS: Are there significant partners you’re collaborating with?

MB: We recently announced a deal with the Axiata Group which will further increase our footprint in the region to include Bangladesh and Nepal.

IS: Azran Osman-Rani, your former Group COO and Malaysia CEO has left the company. Could you comment on this?

MB: At iflix, our company culture is an important part of who we are and what we stand for. Azran has been instrumental in shaping and helping define that culture. In his tenure as iflix Malaysia country manager, he mentored many of the team leaders who continue to guide and lead our Malaysia business today. He continues to be a part of our culture and leadership in that capacity. In the day to day management of our Malaysian business, Azran has stepped away to pursue his true passion of building new start-ups and mentoring and inspiring young entrepreneurs on a larger scale.