Buoyed up by their quick success story, Wi-flix Founders Bright Yeboah and Louis Manu, in an exclusive interview with Smart Africa Media Editor, reveal that as part of their expansion plan to meet growing demand, they are soon rolling out their services in Kenya, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, DRC, Tanzania and Zambia.
HOOFDDORP, Netherlands: Wi-flix [https://wi-flix.com/] Founders Bright Yeboah and Louis Manu recently announced that their one-year-old startup hit the 1,000,000th paid subscription milestone on the 3rd of March, 2022 exactly 12:13 GMT+1 with 300,000 plus customer milestone, becoming Africa’s fastest-growing video on-demand streaming platform.
The online streaming platform based in Hoofddrop, Netherlands but whose founders are from Ghana, has grown quickly in recent months, mainly in West Africa, with more content and distribution partnerships and more titles being added to its library resulting in major customer attraction.
Buoyed up by their quick success story, Wi-flix Founders Bright Yeboah and Louis Manu, in an exclusive interview with Smart Africa Media Founder and Managing Editor Elvis Mboya, reveal that as part of their expansion plan to meet growing demand, they are soon rolling out their services in Kenya, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, DRC, Tanzania and Zambia.
Briefly tell us about the Wi-flix concept and how it operates.
Wi-flix is a leading African-based live streaming and subscriber video on demand provider offering authentic, originally African and international content to subscribers in Africa and the diaspora. The service offers premium content at an affordable price point as part of a bold agenda to democratize content in Africa.
Highlight on your background and entrepreneurial journey to date.
We come from the world of entertainment, technology, telecommunications, and design and understand how the video experience echo system operates. And that is the reason we are able to ideate on Wi-flix and execute a solution capable of delivering a superior video experience to our customers and change the lives of filmmakers in the world.
We have a team that has demonstrated success in leading large teams and projects from inception to launch. We’ve worked for Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, 24i, and 2CTV and bring all of these relationships and experiences to our new venture.
The journey has been a challenging one as expected for us as Founders, however, we are excited about the potential we can reach as we go along, which always keeps our feet on the ground to overcome these challenges.
In a little over a year since your firm’s launch, you have managed an impressive 1 million paid subscriptions. How did you grow so quickly?
To put it in simple terms, this has been possible because of our phenomenal product proposition to our customers that covers pricing, content, localized payment, data access and reach.
A new survey finds that COVID-19 has sped up digital transformation and technologies by several years. Has the pandemic been a blessing in disguise to your digital growth too?
Undoubtedly, the digital technology landscape has transformed immensely since Covid-19 emerged and has served as a catalyst for businesses, big or small, to relook their playbook.
A lot of OTT [over-the-top – means of providing television and film content over the internet at the request and to suit the requirements of the individual consumer] players really felt the impact of the pandemic and Wi-flix is no exception even though we launched the service just in the middle of the pandemic.
However, there is always something to be excited about in situations like that and we are committed to improve on the products we offer our customers.
Having your startup based in a first world country must have given you some unique advantages to start and grow your company as opposed to startups founded and operating entirely in the continent?
It’s evident that startups in the West enjoy certain privileges because of numerous factors. However, the story of Wi-flix can also be related to that of any other startup on the African continent.
We had to push our product through like any other African startup bearing in mind that our product is African and localised in the African countries we operate which has been a key to our success so far. Over 70% of our workforce are Africans based in Africa led by founders who are both Africans and which makes us proudly African.
How are you planning to celebrate this milestone with your customers who have made this possible?
This is a milestone that’s worth celebrating with our loyal customers. Therefore, we are offering the first 1000 customers who use the code WIFLIX1MILLION, a FREE access for 48 hours to binge all their favourite movies, series, kids content and live TV shows and to also say thank you in our small way.
Your firm is based in the Netherlands but with presence mainly in Ghana and Nigeria. What’s your expansion plans to other African markets?
We intend to spread our tentacles across the length and breadth of the continent to offer exciting and diversified indigenous African entertainment contents to customers. However we have to be gradual and strategic with this process.
In the coming months, we are going to roll out our full services in Kenya, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia. Plans are far advanced and we would issue a communication very soon.
Studies have shown that 20% of startups in Africa fail in the first year and more than 90% do not survive the first five years. How did you overcome some of your key challenges to achieve this success story?
We believe there’s a reason why most OTT players have folded in Africa in recent years. We are only changing the game by delivering the best OTT which meets the demand and usability of our audience.
I must say, our service appeals to a very large and diverse market group on the continent from the ages of 16 to 59 years segmented on their spending power. Our access fee is the lowest in the market and attracts medium to low tier consumer groups in most countries. We believe our market is ready for something new.
What are the key drivers of the firm’s growth in the initial years and how are you planning to withstand challenges and scale in the next five to ten years?
Firstly, I must say we have an amazing young team of professionals that keeps inspiring new and innovative ideas coupled with a diverse range of experiences coming together to change the video experience landscape. Secondly, what we have going for us is our product proposition that is creating a new ecosystem, picking up from where others have left off, and forging together the best acceptable practices and monetization platforms.
Our vision over the long term is to contribute to and leverage Africa’s own digital economy by bridging the gap with easily reachable and affordable content in a single location while projecting the rich African culture and content to the world to shift the perspective of the world about Africa.
Lead photo: Wi-flix’s Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer Bright Yeboah and Co-Founder and Chief Commercial and Technology Officer Louis Manu.