View profile

Inside iROKOtv’s plans to go public

get.Africa
Inside iROKOtv’s plans to go public
By get.Africa Weekly • Issue #56 • View online
Utụtụ ọma,
That’s “good morning” in Igbo
Jason Njoku made history in 2013.
At 32, the iROKOtv cofounder became the youngest person to be named the Growth Ambassador for Nigeria’s Alternative Securities Market (ASeM).
ASeM is a sub-market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). It lists small and mid-sized companies with high-growth potential. In other words, companies that are ready to go public but not yet big enough to get listed on the main exchange.
Since then, both Njoku and iROKOtv have grown immensely. The streaming company is now due to be listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
AIM is a sub-market of the LSE. It’s for companies that are ready to go public but not yet big enough to get listed on the main exchange. 
But just how ready? 
According to Njoku, discussions with brokers will start in the coming weeks. 
Here’s part of what they’ll consider:
  • Operations: Founded by Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter in 2011, iROKOtv boasts the largest online catalog of Nollywood film content globally. This podcast goes in-depth about their history. 
  • Last fundraise: $30 million Series E in January 2016.
  • The goal: The company aims to raise between $20m and $30m, which Njoku says will increase its valuation to between $80m and $100m. The listing should happen in 12 months.
Home and abroad 
iROKOtv is now in a position to be listed on the NSE’s main exchange. Choosing to go with the alternative bourse of an international exchange is, therefore, a noteworthy decision. Although, not everybody will agree it’s the correct one.   
A couple of years ago, Senegalese VC investor Marieme Diop suggested that instead of companies chasing the waterfalls of international listings, they should stick to the rivers and the lakes that they’re used to back home.
Diop:
“It might be a better option to set lower revenue expectations and have startups list on local exchanges to raise capital from IPOs when they’re ready. We may be able to create more gazelles at home than unicorns abroad.”
A gazelle is typically a tech startup valued at $100 million or more and generating revenues of $15 to $50 million.
But on the flip side, are local exchanges like the NSE an attractive proposition for these companies? Can the NSE birth a company the size of Egypt’s Fawry?
This report on the performance of Nigerian tech stocks during the March 2020 lockdowns highlights some worrying trends:
  1. Low performance: There isn’t significant trading activity on the majority of tech stocks and many companies have seen their valuations tank after getting listed. 
  2. Legacy tech: Software-based, VC-backed tech companies are underrepresented on the NSE, which could be as a result of a paucity of exits in recent years but it could also be as a result of #1. 
Either reason should be a cause for concern for the NSE. Although, being that he’s no longer their Growth Ambassador, it is no longer one for Njoku to be concerned with.
In under 10 years, iROKOtv has grown from being courted by ASeM to preparing to list on AIM. And maybe, just maybe, dual list on the main NSE in the future.

get.Africa is a weekly roundup of the most interesting stories in African tech. To support, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, share this issue or send us an email. You can also check our archives.
Credit: Jayden Brand (@jaydenbrand)
Credit: Jayden Brand (@jaydenbrand)
What's the Big Deal?
+ ₦: Nigerian retail-tech/analytics startup, Connected Analytics, has secured a seven-figure pre-Series A funding. The company wants to use the funds to aid quality team additions and improve its technology to effectively execute its latest strategic partnerships. The round was led by Hong Kong’s Betatron Venture Group.
+ ZAR: South African healthtech startup hearX Group has completed a US$8.3 million Series A fundraise as it bids to expand its reach in the United States (US).
+ ZAR: Digital home loan start-up Mortgage Market has secured $683K in a Series A funding round led by IDF Capital. The company plans to disrupt the home loan market by changing the slow and cumbersome traditional home loan application process. This investment follows an initial R7-million in 2019.
Reads
Nigeria’s SEC puts plans to regulate crypto on hold in light of central bank ban
How African startups raised investments in 2020
Should African neobanks expand their digital banking solutions to Central and Eastern Europe?
Can the Nigerian tech ecosystem survive outside Lagos?
Software is eating agriculture
Charts + Graphs
Comparison between Starlink and other internet service options in South Africa (Credit: My Broadband)
Comparison between Starlink and other internet service options in South Africa (Credit: My Broadband)
South Africans can now pre-order SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service. Starlink utilizes lower-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to offer fast internet connectivity to its users. The company is owned by Elon Musk and is set to be available in his native country in 2022. But just how does it compare to what is already in the market?
+ Reads
+ How Transsion quietly became the Apple of Africa.
+ Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z have created an endowment to fund bitcoin development initially in Africa and India.
+ Ghana’s startup bill committee invites inputs from startups and entrepreneurs.
+ Facebook rolls out security feature to protect journalists in Nigeria, Kenya, SA, and other countries.
+ The real reason why Providus Bank shut down virtual accounts and why it matters.
Watch + Listen
How Nigeria's Most Wanted Hacker Got Caught
How Nigeria's Most Wanted Hacker Got Caught
Why African corporates are not investing in tech startups
International Expansion 101 for fintechs in Africa
The paradigm shift toward equitable tech access across Africa
Overheard on Twitter
Pomp 🌪
The innovation and progress coming out of India and Nigeria is breathtaking.
Classifieds
+ I am writing a book. It’s a post-pandemic guide to remote work for African business. If you want to get updates, subscribe to the newsletter.
+ To make whiteboard animation videos like this for educational or marketing purposes, please send us an email.
Did you enjoy this issue?
get.Africa Weekly

African tech in a language you'll understand. The most important stories contextualized and delivered to your inbox every Monday. Curated by Chiagoziem O.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
get.Africa Media, Nigeria