Jul 22, 2019

Malaysian video subscription service iflix raises $50 million pre-IPO

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Iflix, a Malaysia-based streaming video subscription service focused on Southeast Asia and the Middle East, raised over $50 million in what it refers to as pre-IPO funding.

Why it matters: Netflix needs to expand in emerging markets, as its recent subscriber numbers suggest saturation in its core geographies. Iflix, which claims to have nearly doubled active users to 17 million in the past 6 months, presents one of several homegrown hurdles.

  • Fidelity International led, and was joined by return backers Catcha Group, Hearst, Sky and EMC.

The bottom line: "iflix is setting the stage for a listing, set to take place either on the Australian Securities Exchange or the NYSE, which could value the company at more than $1 billion," writes Ardi Wirdana of DealStreetAsia.

Go deeper: Netflix stock sinks after U.S. subscriber loss

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Netflix looks abroad for continued growth as more competitors emerge

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Efforts to dethrone Netflix abroad are underway, as more money pours into upstarts looking to compete locally against the streaming giant.

Why it matters: Netflix's user base is nearing saturation in the U.S., so it needs to continue growing abroad if it ever wants a chance at profitability.

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019

Podcast: The battle to dethrone Netflix

Dan and Axios' Sara Fischer dig into the future of streaming, as Netflix is under pressure both at home and abroad.

Go deeper: Netflix rival in Southeast Asia raises $50 million

Keep ReadingArrowJul 22, 2019

News aggregation app SmartNews reaches $1 billion valuation

Screen shot from SmartNews.com

SmartNews, the Japanese news discovery app that has amassed 20 million global monthly active users, has raised $28 million in its latest funding round, bringing the company's valuation to $1.1 billion, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: It's notable that in today's bleak news market where U.S. tech giants like Google and Facebook dominate most news referral traffic online, a Japanese-based firm has been able to gain traction. SmartNews is one of the few news-related startups to achieve "unicorn" status, or a valuation of over $1 billion, in years.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019