Telco giant PLDT announced on Thursday, April 23, that it has invested $15 million (about P664 million) in Malaysia-based technology start-up iflix, which plans to be Southeast Asia’s leading Internet TV service.
iflix was able to add another $15 million from its owners, the Catcha Group, raising a total of $30 million in its latest funding round.
With the new funds, iflix is expected to expand its Internet TV service to make top TV shows and movies available to 600 million consumers in Southeast Asia at a low monthly price.
The telco?s investment in iflix is expected to further intensify its battle with fierce rival Globe Telecom, which earlier launched a similar service for the region called Hooq, led by former Globe chief operating advisor Peter Bithos.
PLDT said its investment is in line with its strategy to develop new revenue streams and to complement its present business by participating in the digital world beyond providing access and connectivity.
The funds raised will be used to continue to roll out the iflix service across the Southeast Asia region, acquire rights to new content, produce original programming and market to potential customers.
iflix Chairman Patrick Grove said: ?We are excited to join forces with such an outstanding regional partner, who shares our vision. The new funds will allow us to execute on our plan to deliver thousands of hours of entertainment for a low monthly price to the 600 million consumers in the region.?
Grove continued, ?There is a seismic shift taking place in the global entertainment landscape. We believe iflix is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this incredible opportunity.?
For his part, PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan added, ?We are very bullish about the prospects of the iflix service which has been designed to address the preferences and demands of the rapidly expanding Asian Market. PLDT looks forward to working with iflix to grow its business and introduce new media services that will fuel further the demand for broadband and mobile access in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.?
Launching in key Southeast Asian markets, including Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam throughout 2015, iflix will offer consumers more than 10,000 hours of top US, Asian regional, and local TV shows and movies.
Each subscription will allow a user to access the service on five devices, as well as download content to their mobile, tablet, computer, or television set, for viewing anywhere, anytime.
iflix is a partnership between Malaysian entrepreneur Catcha Group and Hollywood heavyweight Evolution Media Capital.