Kinnevik exits Nigeria, sells off stake in iROKO


As a move to mark its final exit from Nigeria, Kinnevik has just confirmed that it has exited its stake in iROKO, a video streaming and TV company.

As contained in its annual report, the Swedish tech investment company has shaded off Nigeria from its coverage and portfolio. Kinnevik has also stopped reporting the financial details of iROKO.

It would be recalled that Kinnevik alongside Naspers had sold off their stake in, an eCommerce company founded in 2012 by Sim Shagaya to Zinox Group.

However, in a not too different manner it handled it sell-off of its stake in Konga, there was no official statement from Kinnevik on the transaction neither is there any detail on what it received for the sell-off.

The raising of funds for Iroko started in 2013 when the company raised a total of $8 million from Tiger Global and Kinnevik alongside Rise Capital in a Series D round investment transaction.

Its biggest raising was the $25 million it took from Tiger Global, Kinnevik and RISE Capital, the company’s largest capital raising till date.

The company added more to its raising in 2016 when it netted an additional $19 million from the duo of CANAL+, french payTV and entertainment giant as well as Kinnevik.

After the raising, Iroko was to use the funds to expand its mobile video streaming offerings.

At that time, Jason said in his announcement that the investment will use proceeds to scale its mobile offerings “For us, there is no version of reality where the marriage between Africa’s most powerful communication tool [mobile] and the most prolific and loved entertainment provider [Nollywood] won’t be a joyous union.”

He stressed that:

“The challenges surrounding mobile TV in Africa are mighty, but not insurmountable. It’s human to be entertained and connect over community and we are obsessed with creating Africa’s largest community around local content. We have always been crazily bold in our ambitions to bring the content closer to viewers and build a truly frictionless and inclusive entertainment experience. Today’s news improves those odds.”

His stand to double-down on mobile was corroborated by CANAL+’s said in its statement that:

“We congratulate Jason and all the iROKO team and investors for their outstanding achievement so far and we are proud to partner for the scale-up in French-Speaking Africa, with clear ambitions and the means to reach them.”

Three years down the line, Jason, Kinnevik and CANAL+ might have been proven wrong due to the fact that the company’s focus on mobile streaming did not generate the needed revenue to push the company into profitability.

There were various indications that Kinnevik’s investment in Konga had garnered many impairments over the last three years.

Last year, Kinnevik disclosed that it wrote down its investment in iROKO to $1.9 million while it still valued the company at $68 million. It is not clear what it valued iROKO for before it disposed of its stake.

Neither Kinnevik, Tiger Global, Rise Capital and CANAL+ have disclosed their stake and what is the future of their equity in the business.

iROKO could not also be reached for any comment on the matter.

iROKO was founded by Jason Njoku in 2012 as a YouTube channel streaming Nollywood and African movies for a local and global audience.