Alchemiya Media has launched a £1 million investment round on UK based equity crowdfunding platform CrowdCube – a public equity investment platform. The VoD service offers inspirational content about the arts, heritage, music, food, travel, and culture of the Muslim world and has been dubbed ‘the Netflix of Islam’.
“Our content celebrates the very best of what the Muslim world has contributed to global culture, and now we can share that with audiences across Asia. They love the quality of the content that we produce.” said Alchemiya Founder and CEO Navid Akhtar. He added, “Three members of our board are ex-BBC and British media creativity is highly valued across the world.”.
“In addition to our browser-based player, we are seeing a huge opportunity to collaborate with Mobile Operators” commented Akhtar. “We have a deal in discussion with one of Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunication groups, to bundle Alchemiya to 90 million mobile subscribers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and we are looking for suitable partners in other regions.”
According to Thompson Reuters the overall spend on Muslim-friendly media and recreation reached $189 billion in 2016, and is expected to reach $281 billion by 2022.
Ericsson ConsumerLab predicts that by 2020, half of all video viewing will be done on mobile devices, led by a younger generation of viewers. With 60 per cent of the global Muslim population under the age of 30, a new generation of Muslim Millennials are expected to be among the most influential market demographics, shaping both regional and mainstream markets.
“Offering lifestyle, travel and heritage programmes about the British Muslim community is a priority”, said Akhtar. For Alchemiya subscribers London is a top holiday destination. In addition to the usual tourist attractions, there is a wealth of other experiences available for the global Muslim traveller to explore from Islamic artifacts at the V&A and British Museums to a diverse range of Muslim cuisine. “There is a Muslim London ‘Cool’ which Muslims from across the globe want to experience.”
“We are in a city with the most creative young Muslims on the planet, and a lot of them live in East London, where Alchemiya is based. We see them as dynamic, creative content producers and can help present their films to audiences across the globe.”
Going further they have drawn up plans to establish the Alchemiya Foundation, diverting funds from the commercial activities to help train and support the next generation of under privileged filmmakers. It all ties in with the company’s values and purpose, and Alchemiya is structured to combine both commercial ambition and social mission together.
For Alchemiya, Malaysia is a natural launch pad into Southeast Asia. Mobile operators everywhere are looking for data-rich services and add-ons, now that revenues from calls and text has flat-lined. Revenues from SVoD have overtaken other VoD models, such as advertising supported VoD. Ericsson ConsumerLab estimates that 50 per cent of non-linear TV viewing with be via SVoD by 2022, generating over $40 billion annually, 50 per cent via mobile devices.
Akhtar continued, “Our aim is not to teach or preach, but rather to inspire our viewers with lifestyle content that shows the rich culture of the Muslim world. We chose CrowdCube, as we want to share the ownership of the company with ordinary investors who care about the way Islam is seen in the world, and want to support our purpose and values.”
Alchemiya is now raising growth investment on CrowdCube to expand the content library, and build apps for mobiles and smart TVs.