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Sony, Warner Brothers Invest In Asian Challenger To Netflix

Sony and Warner Brothers have contributed to another round of funding to HOOQ, a Southeast Asia SVOD that describes itself as an alternative to Netflix.

The service was founded two years ago by Singapore-based mobile service Singtel, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers.  Singtel is the majority holder of HOOQ with a 65% share, while Sony and Warner Brothers each hold a 17.5 percent interest.

The service first went live in Indonesia, Philippines, India and Thailand in 2015 before adding Singapore, its home market, last year.

News of the newest round of funding was disclosed in a stock exchange filing from Singtel, which announced it had added an additional SG$23.7 million, or approximately US$15.5 million, with Sony and Warner adding the remainder of the $25 million. Following the latest round, the trio of companies retain the same shareholding percentages.

While Netflix might be the rival most familiar to Americans, HOOQ faces a larger challenge from regional SVOD iFlix. That company has recently raised $150 million in fresh capital in order to expand its services. That funding includes a $45 million investment from British broacasting giant SKY.