When Jason Njoku graduated from his UK-based university in 2005, he was filled with high hopes of entrepreneurial success. But after his business endeavors failed to take off for years, Njoku had no option but to move back to his mother’s house in London.
Returning home as a penniless 29-year-old was “a harrowing experience” but provided Njoku, a chemist by training, with his Eureka moment — he realized there’s a growing appetite for Nollywood films after noticing how his mother and other relatives had difficulties getting their hands on their beloved movies from Nigeria’s booming film industry.
The tech entrepreneur spotted the gap in the market and in 2010 he founded Iroko Partners an internet company that distributes Nollywood films to viewers across the world.
Described as the “Netflix of Africa,” Njoku’s company has today grown to have more than 500,000 registered users. It has offices in London, New York and Lagos with some 100 staff and has secured $8 million in funding from U.S.-based hedge fund Tiger Global, early investors in Facebook. Earlier this week it launched a new internet subscription service which enables viewers to watch exclusive Nollywood films for $5 a month.