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Video streaming player Iflix plans for an IPO this year

The Netflix rival has chosen to go the IPO route, as opposed to raising funds privately.

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Malaysia-headquartered online entertainment firm Iflix plans to have an initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this year instead of raising funds privately, a source familiar with the matter told KrASIA on Wednesday.

Founded in 2014 by Patrick Grove and Mark Britt, the company offers a video on demand (VOD) service and operates in emerging markets, particularly in Southeast Asia.

“The management decided on an IPO in Australia because some of the founders are Australians and have some ties there. In addition, raising funds from private sources is sometimes a bit hard in the current economic situation,” the source said, adding that the company has already appointed some banks as advisors for the listing.

Grove is an Australian entrepreneur in Southeast Asia. Before establishing Iflix, he and his friend Luke Elliott founded the Catcha Group—an international internet group—in 2004. Under Catcha, they founded and invested in several companies, such as Iflix, Frontier Digital Ventures, a network of automotive portals under iCarAsia, tech conference platform Wild Digital, a co-working space chain called Common Ground, wedding website Hitchbird, and the Kuala Lumpur Internet City (KLIC) digital hub.

This is not the first time that the management has planned an IPO for Iflix. In 2019, the company had targeted an IPO, but it was delayed after the company raised USD 50 million in funds, in a round led by global asset manager Fidelity International and Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo. Besides Iflix, other Catcha Group companies have been listed on the ASX, including iCarAsia and Frontier Digital Ventures.

KrASIA tried to reach Grove for confirmation, but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

In May 2019, the video streaming platform claimed to have about 17 million users, up from nine million in late 2018. It operates in Southeast Asia and South Asia. In these markets, Iflix’s greatest competitors are Hooq and Netflix. Unlike Netflix which has only paid subscribers, Iflix and Hooq have adopted a freemium business model where there are selected content available for free while their premium content requires a subscription.