BrandArena: Nigeria’s IROKO reveals plan to go public on London Stock Exchange

Thursday 11 February 2021

Nigeria’s IROKO reveals plan to go public on London Stock Exchange

Nigerian-based media company, IROKO has revealed plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market in 2022.

According to TheAfricaReport, the media company will raise between $20 million and $30 million valuing the company at $80 million to $100 million. Discussions with brokers will start in the coming weeks. Njoku holds a stake of 18% in the debt-free company.

Founded in 2011 by Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter, Iroko is one of Africa’s first mainstream online movie streaming websites, and it has the world’s largest online catalog of Nollywood films.

In 2020, Irokotv planned to increase its average revenue per user in Africa from $7-8 to $20-25. It seemed the company was set to achieve that until the pandemic came. Consumer spending in Nigeria and other African markets reduced and subscriptions dropped by 70% but international subscribers grew by 200% during the lockdown hitting a $25-30 ARPU range.

Jason Njoku told TechCrunch that, “The costs of pursuing Africa growth is what was really resized dramatically. We were so focused on defending Africa and basically ended up doing nothing. Zero marketing or anything to drive that.

“We pulled back to focus on where our economics actually makes sense. Our international business organically grew double-digit in 2020 and we expect it to continue this way for the foreseeable future.”

IROKO makes 80% of its revenue outside Africa and listing on a foreign exchange will help consolidate its efforts. 

According to Njoku, the Nigerian Stock Exchange or other local exchanges do not have a history of listing early-stage tech companies; therefore, the London Stock Exchange makes more sense in the short term. The company is focusing more on international subscribers primarily in the U.S and the U.K where it has been able to execute a 150% price increase from $25 per year to $60 per year without any negative impact.

The company is seeking a market cap of about $100 million, which is small for the primary market. This is why it is choosing to list on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the LSE. A sub-market of the LSE, the AIM is built specifically for small-cap companies.

IROKO secured around $30 million in total during its Series E funding in January 2016 and it plans to raise less or a similar amount when going public in 2022

The only company to have gone public from Nigeria is Jumia. Interswitch, a payment processing company valued at $1 billion is also planning to go public in the next 2 years.

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