Entrepreneur Jason Njoku — like many of us — was looking for something online. However, when he didn't find it, unlikw many of us he didn't end up tweeting or posting a Facebook status update with complaints. He had another idea altogether …
The Nigerian Internet entrepreneur just completed what is being called possibly the largest fundraising round in the West African tech world. Njoku, founder of Iroko Partners, recently landed $8 million from NY-based Tiger Global Management. Iroko Partners is the world's largest digital distributor of Nigerian movies and African music. It is also the holding company behind the successful NollywoodLove. Njoku's latest venture is iROKING, an African music streaming service.
The idea for Njoku's company came to him when he went searching for Nollywood films to give to his mother in London, but couldn't find any. Once Iroko Partners was established, Njoku launched iROKOtv. "We felt that Nollywood needed its own super-premium place online," says Njoku. "Something for all viewers to be proud of. A beautiful website. If my family wanted to get their hands on Nollywood films, thousands of other families will have been in the same boat. Globally, the demand was there."
Njoku is also making room for a new venture, iROKING. "If iROKOtv is the 'Netflix' of Africa, iROKING is the African 'Spotify'. We built the platform towards the end of last year and now we're working with some of Nigeria's best artists. We wanted to build a business around Nigerian music, which had previously been poorly distributed and monetized online," he explains. " iROKING is super early but we feel we can bring fans and musicians closer to each other and help build a money-making base for the industry."
This is a fascinating example of how we can really make a difference. Njoku's work creates avenues for producers of content — music and video, from reality TV to scripted fare — to showcase their work where before their avenues were more limited. It's not always easy to do things differently, things can get "komplicated," but once it happens, it can become magical.
[Source: Dominion of New York]