Pyrrhic – IROKOtv’s Subscriber Base in Africa Grew from 2% to 83% in 5 Years.

The war elephants of Phyrrus at the battle of Asculum, 279 B.C. Getty

For the last 5 years, IROKOtv'S sole mission was to push for market share in West Africa. This was largely driven by my personal ambition to win the SVOD wars, the added pressure & expectation of raising and deploying capital and the resultant marching orders of my VC and board members to grow, grow, grow. It all seemed pretty simple and logical. The belief went that our exit value was directly proportional to our ability to demonstrate to potential investors or acquirers the size, scale and fantastic unit economics of the African entertainment opportunity. We had to crack product + market fit (in an emerging market), figure out how to monetize and do it in a nice safe and sustainable way. Now, in deep capital markets (US, China, SEA and India - less so Europe) there is time to get this balance right and you usually need far-sighted backers who allow you to invest aggressively upfront (read generate...

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