Netflix is finally starting its expansion into Asia, but several local competitors have already popped up while the company was taking its time. One of the most promising of these competitors is iFlix, a Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service that offers Western entertainment to users across Southeast Asia, but it’s ambitions are limited to just its home region. The company is apparently in talks with investors to raise as much as $150 million in new funding to expand internationally. It’s already available in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, and will continue its own Asian expansion, but with this funding, it plans to expand to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East as well.
Netflix recently revealed that it has plans to launch in Singapore next year, but already a number of ambitious video streaming services have sprouted up in Southeast Asia — a region that is home to more than 500 million people — aiming to dethrone the U.S. company before it even arrives. One such upstart is iFlix, a service available in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, which is currently talking to investors with a view to raising up to $150 million in fresh funding to fuel a major global expansion. Ambitious indeed. A pitch deck to investors dated November 2015, obtained by TechCrunch, states that iFlix — which is owned by Malaysia-based group Catcha Media and raised $30 million in April — is “looking to expand actively into other ASEAN markets as well as specific high-potential areas outside of ASEAN”. iFlix declined to comment when we contacted it about these plans. More specifically, the company plans to spend the money expanding its presence in Southeast Asia and moving into new markets in the wider Asian continent, the Middle East, Africa, and CIS (Eastern Europe). Further, iFlix claims it is in “ongoing distribution agreement dialogue” with operators across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has used telecom partnerships to gain reach in its existing markets, to date, so that would represent a continuation of that strategy.