iROKOtv CEO, Jason Njoku, has confirmed the company is “saying goodbye” to 130 staffers at its Lagos office.
Techmoran first reported the downsizing yesterday, quoting sources familiar with the matter. According to the report, the company is cutting down its overhead as it attempts to crack profitability.
When TechCabal reached out to the company, Jason confirmed they are indeed laying off staffers, and also that the process has been a progressive downsizing that started a few months back.
“We’ve had to say goodbye to valued team members from the Lagos office over the past few months,” Jason told us. “Mainly our Lagos based offline marketing department were affected – we’re reducing numbers in that area of the company and approximately 130 staff have been let go.”
This is part of a larger restructuring, Jason says, that will see the company move personnel and resources to other parts of the business as well as relocate operations that require stronger infrastructure to its office in New York.
“There are some roles which required stronger infrastructure (moving large files) and experienced hands so we shifted them outside Lagos,” Jason says.
This is the first major restructuring iROKOtv is announcing since it switched from PC and mobile streaming to a mobile-only discovery and download offering back in July.
At the time, Jason said the decision was based on the distribution of users along devices used to access the platform.
According to him, “76% of users are via the mobile internet. If Nigerian Internet is mobile, the Internet TV company which wins needs to go mobile.” Data from the company at the time revealed that downloads on the platform increased more than 36% few days after it went mobile-only.
From the data Jason recently shared with us, the company seem to have gotten better since then with Nigeria as its strongest growing region.
“Nigeria has been our strongest adopter (68%) and is our number one market in terms of downloads, with close to 40,000 from the Google Play store since 1st July. Our Nigeria subscription base has increased 31% in the 3.5 months,” Jason said.
However, as its offline marketing team leaves the company, Jason says the company has increased headcount in other departments. iROKOtv has increased its engineering team from four to 17 over the past months (six in NY and 11 in Lagos). “We have also built out our product and design groups too,” he said.
Some of the engineers are likely from iROKOtv’s developer challenge that it started back in June to recruit the best developers and engineers in Nigeria with a prize money of N1 million and an option to work for the company.
Jason said the company is working on releasing a new version of its app before the year is out and it’s what the company’s product, design and engineering teams across Lagos and New York are focused on at present.
This is a developing story …