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$8m Funding Round for VOD Platform iROKOtv

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iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies, known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’, today announces a funding round of $8 million, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevikand introducing new investor to this round, US-based Rise Capital .

This brings the total raised to $21 million, arguably making iROKOtv one of the most well funded internet companies in Africa today.

iROKOtv is the leading Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content and following the announcement of the $8 million investment, the company will continue to focus its attention on growing traffic, content curation and building a platform-agnostic distribution system for its 1Mn monthly users.

To-date, the capital raised by iROKOtv has been used to acquire content, expand the London-based tech team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters. iROKOtv now holds the world’s largest online catalogue of African content, with over 5,000 movies.

The new capital will be channeled at building and transitioning the company’s audience from a primarily Diaspora base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad supported model to more subscription service.

Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US alone, but with the continent coming online, demand for homegrown multi-platform video content is rising fast.

There will also be a renewed focus on monetizing iROKOtv’s catalogue through its SVOD service, iROKOtv PLUS, as well as through its strategic distribution partnerships with global airlines and TV channels.

Jason Njoku, CEO and co-founder said: “The $8 million raised by Tiger Global, Kinnevik and Rise Capital will further fuel our expansion and help us to realise our long term goal of becoming one of Africa’s preeminent media companies. We started life three years ago as a Nollywood content aggregator on a YouTube channel and today we find ourselves with a VC-backed dedicated VOD platform, watched in 178 countries around the world, with one million unique visitors a month. These metrics were achieved with hard work from a great international team and today’s news allows us to continue in the same vein and accelerate our growth.”

Bastian Gotter, COO and co-founder said: “We have forged a niche in African movie programming and captured people’s imagination in terms of bringing previously unobtainable yet popular content, loved by millions, to a global audience on an awesome platform. This additional capital allows us to consolidate our position as VOD market leaders for Africa, invest in tech, content and infrastructure and, importantly, we are now in a position to become profitable by 2015, which is an extraordinary feat for any start-up, let alone an African VOD one like ours.”

Today’s announcement also sees a new investor, Rise capital, brought into the funding series, with Gotter adding: “Nazar’s guidance as our first outside investor and active board member has significantly helped our development as a company, so we are excited to strengthen this relationship with him and the Rise Capital team. We look forward to continuing to benefit from their global investment expertise.”

Nazar Yasin, managing partner of Rise Capital said: “We are very pleased to participate in this round of financing alongside Kinnevik and my former colleagues at Tiger Global. Having worked with Jason, Bastian and the team since their early days, we at Rise Capital look forward to continuing to help them scale their content acquisition and distribution channels and secure their positioning as Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest and most impactful media company.

Mia Brunell Livfors, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kinnevik added: “This latest funding round for iROKOtv is testament to the fact that Kinnevik continues to support them on their journey to becoming one of Africa’s most exciting and far-reaching media companies”.

On 1 July 2012, iROKOtv introduced a subscription service (SVOD) to its site, iROKOtv PLUS , where for $5 a month, subscribers are the first to access the 12 brand new movies uploaded onto the site every month. The iROKOtv PLUS business is currently growing rapidly and is now the largest single source of revenue for the company, revealing that more consumers are willing to pay for quality content. 95% of content on iROKOtv continues to be free and is supported by an advertising (AVOD) business model.

iROKOtv has aggregated the world’s largest online Nollywood catalogue, now standing at 5,000+ movies and the company has been credited by for pioneering VOD for Africa and African continent. Coined by the media as the ‘Netflix of Africa’, iROKOtv has successfully disrupted and reorganised the multi-million dollar Nigerian movie industry’s distribution infrastructure.


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Samsung Launches the Incredible Crystal UHD TV

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TV has become a massive part of our lives from those must-watch series to the sports matches that have us glued to the screen. World-renowned for pioneering innovation in this popular category of technology, Samsung has now launched Crystal UHD TV.

Featuring Samsung’s cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.

Controling all function with Voice Assistant and enjoying multiple contents on one screen with Multi View are just some of the welcome advancements on this incredible TV.

“Samsung TV has been constantly paving the path for technological innovations by offering consumers a new TV experience and a future for global TV industry. This is the core driving force that makes Samsung No. 1 TV for 14 consecutive years. Crystal UHD builds on this success in ways that people will truly love.” said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.

Crystal UHD is the purest form of picture quality with 1 billion rich and vibrant colours with guaranteed crisp and vivid images time over time. Its features include:

Real 4K UHD Resolution – 4K UHD TV goes beyond regular FHD with 4x more pixels, offering your eyes the sharp and crisp images they deserve. See it like you’re really in the scene.

Lifelike colour expression – Immerse yourself in the picture with a wider range of colour. Dynamic Crystal Display delivers lifelike variations so you can see every subtlety.

Crystal Processor 4K – Experience picture quality that moves you, made possible by a single chip that orchestrates colour, optimises high contrast ratio, and masters HDR.

See the picture, not the TV – A sleek and elegant design that draws you to the purest picture. Crafted with an effortless minimalistic style from every angle and a boundless that sets new standards. You will see only the most immersive cinematic experience ever.

Get what you want just by speaking up – Everything is so much easier with voice control. Now you can quickly access favourite content, get answers, and even control your TV and other connected devices around your home. Just tell it what you want.

See multiple contents at the same time – Multi View splits your TV screen in two, putting the content you’re watching on one side, and mirroring your mobile screen on the other. This means you don’t have to look away from the TV screen to glance at your phone anymore.

Get gaming faster – Get into the game faster with Game Enhancer, which optimises your screen so you have more control with barely noticeable input lag. Experience smooth gaming in its most impressive form without motion blur and judder.

Decorate your space with your favourite photos  – When you project your favourite photos onto the TV screen, the TV itself blends into your décor elegantly. You can lay out multiple photos in a beautiful collage or place them in a slide show for to keep the visual fresh and on point.

Clean up the clutter – Samsung UHD offers a neat solution for keeping all your TV cables tidy, hiding them away right in the stand. This helps you reduce your clutter so you can fully enjoy your TV’s beautiful design.

Samsung Crystal UHD clearly does what many TVs cannot, in the most amazing ways.

The Crystal UHD TV is now available at various retailer stores and retailer online pages. For extra peace of mind, Crystal UHD TV comes with a 24 month warranty.


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FG to Boost Artificial Intelligence

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Federal government on Tuesday announced that it has developed initiatives for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology in Nigeria.

FG to Boost Artificial Intelligence

 

The establishment of a Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Nigeria (CFAIR) is also expected soon.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that AI applications enable innovative solutions, improve risk assessment, better planning, and faster knowledge-sharing.

Abdullahi Usman Gambo, director of IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, spoke at a workshop in commemoration of International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

He noted that AI would open up opportunities for access to information and also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) in the 2030 Agenda.

Gambo said: “Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives – from governance to business, legislation to medicine to defence, etc. We can all agree that AI is humanity’s new frontier.

“We have developed initiatives for adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, strengthen cybersecurity, digital skills for digitally excluded citizens while enhancing the regulatory and market environment to increase access to ICTs, and promote seamless access to information.

“We believe AI and associated emerging technologies will completely enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of information gathering during the exchange of data or the ways of communication,” he said.

Delivering his paper, Yushau Shuaib, publisher of PRNigeria, described access to information as the right of the citizens to accurate, transparent, and timely facts and figures.

The former National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman stated that governments at all levels have obligations to communicate with people, while the public has the right to know and criticize authorities through constructive engagement.

The media executive, however, appealed to Nigerians not to use social media platforms for fake news dissemination.

“The merits of new media on affordability, accessibility and instant delivery are occasionally marred by the fact that social media is sometimes used to spread fake news”, he said.

Shuaib called for collaboration of stakeholders in ensuring appropriate legislation through public awareness campaigns in order to improve access to universal information.


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Samsung Unveils Technologically Advanced 2020 Consumer Products

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Samsung Electronics Nigeria has unveiled its 2020 consumer products range. The launch which held in Victoria Island, Lagos showcased the latest in its revolutionary and innovative QLED and Crystal UHD Television Series  along with Wind Free Air Conditioners, Side by Side Refrigerators and Drum Washing Machines.

Keeping with its resolve to utilize its transformative ideas and technologies to shape the future and inspire the whole world, Samsung has once again demonstrated its determination to continuously redefine the living space and entertainment of its customers.

According to Mr. Caden Chiyeon Yu, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Nigeria, “QLED uses exceptional and revolutionary technology which offers an unparalleled visual and auditory adventure from the comfort of your living room. QLED series is available in 4K or 8K and from 58″ to 98”, and was designed with options to fit any space and budget”. For Crystal UHD Television, Mr. Yu said, with cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.

Also showcased at the launch were the new Windfree Air Conditioner, Drum Washing Machines and Side by Side refrigerators. The Windfree Air Conditioner is designed specially with the latest technology to provide coolness in quick time while ensuring that users don’t experience any chills through out its use. It also has an in-built digital inverter which reduces energy consumption by 73 percent. .

The newly introduced drum washing machine of 2020 from Samsung is very efficient and is built with eco bubble technolgy which allows it to provide cleaning of very dirty garments or clothes without the use of water.  Futhermore, the new Side by Side Refrigetor was built with Spacemax technology which has enabled  Samsung to offer more spacious interior without increasing the external dimentions or compromising energy efficiency.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Oluwaremilekun Adesola-Ogunsan, Head, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Nigeria stated that “Samsung understands the economic diffulties currently being experienced in the country and has consistently produced pocket friendly premium consumer products. We are very consistent in our approach as we understand that our customers like the good things of life and we have provided that without compromising our standards”. “So I can say boldy that there is a Samsung for everybody regardless of your income stream” She added.

In 2019, the Samsung consumer range of products received universal praise for its innovative quality and design and numerous pioneering features. This year Samsung has added even more beneficial features which its customers will appreciate in great deal.

 


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