Cape Town's iono.fm in new funding round - TechCentral

Cape Town’s iono.fm in new funding round

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Online audio services company iono.fm has announced it has secured a new funding round. The Cape-Town based firm has raised an additional R4m from Clifftop Ventures, the venture investment arm of Clifftop Colony.

Clifftop Ventures has increased its equity capital draw-down facility to the start-up, it said in a statement. (TechCentral is a partner of iono.fm’s and uses the company’s platform to distribute its podcasts.)

“We have made enormous progress this year. Together with Clifftop, we refined our strategy by focusing the business on radio stations and professional podcast producers,” said iono.fm founder and CEO Ryan Dingley in a statement.

Dingley said the company has notched up about 15m unique users in the past 12 months and had 1 500 active audio channels and 250 000 active episodes from more than 250 content providers. Its customers include radio stations, which use its platform to transcode, host and distribute their audio content via their own websites and channels such as iTunes.

Radio stations have realised there is a growing need to satisfy on-demand radio consumption following what has been witnessed in the video-on-demand space, Dingley said.

The fresh capital injection will be used to “solidify the business in 2018 and to commence the expansion outside of South Africa into larger African markets, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania”, he said.

“We have built in some unique features to the platform, such as multiple audio quality levels and file-based ad insertions, to account for the special conditions in Africa”, he added. “This allows us to penetrate markets other providers from the developed world cannot access on a broad scale.”

Clifftop Colony CEO Oliver Drews said the company experimented with an equity draw-down structure this year and found that in the case of iono.fm it “worked really well for both the team in the venture company and investors”.

“It’s basically a framework agreement with a special purpose vehicle which provides certainty of funding for an agreed commitment amount and adjusts valuations over time.”  — © 2017 NewsCentral Media

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