The exclusive deal was concluded after Wabona agreed to buy an equity stake in Cinemo with a view to becoming a majority shareholder in the next two years. The deal makes Wabona, Cinemo’s largest content partner to date.The deal was announced at RLabs’ Innovia13 event on 24 October 2013, its annual Demo Day for its start-ups.
Cinemo distributes video content via applications on MXit and Google Android respectively and is based at RLabs and was co-founded eight months ago by Shane Vermooten, a filmmaker in a move to solve the problem of distributing video content to the people without smartphones and fixed line internet while providing another revenue stream and new audiences to filmmakers.
With the help of Marlon Parker and RLabs, who invested in Cinemo, Shane managed to build a successful video distribution service delivering films, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), music videos and documentaries to Feature phones. Cinemo is unique in that it makes video content more accessible and data friendly by providing the video content in 4 minute clips and between 550kbs and 4MB in file size.
Wabona CEO, Simbarashe Mabasha is a strong believer in Cinemo stating “Cinemo’s visionary and innovative thinking led to an exciting mobile video content distributing service. This was one of the main reasons we partnered up with them” Mabasha went on to say “Wabona sees great value in Cinemo, Cinemo with Wabona content can reach markets and audiences not many VOD services can today. People don’t necessarily need smartphones or fixed line internet to enjoy Wabona, they can watch it via Cinemo anywhere in Africa”.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to reach a larger audience across Africa” Cinemo Co-Founder, Shane Vermooten said. “The partnership with Wabona allows us to offer our users quality Pan-African content, and we are looking forward to developing a strong presence across the continent.”
Wabona is excited to open it library to African audiences that may not have fixed line internet or smartphones.