Voon Tze Khay launches iMedia, acquires Oh Media and Ittify

Voon Tze Khay (pictured left), together with co-founders Loh Ken Wei (pictured right), Jacky Tee (pictured second from right) and Brian Alexis (pictured second from left), have launched digital media company, iMedia. The new company focuses on content and technology as well as social influencer marketing.

Voon helms the role of CEO and will be responsible for day-to-day operations. He will also conceptualise the M&A strategy to bring maximum growth and profitabilty to the business. Meanwhile, Loh and Tee helm the positions of chief commercial officer and CFO respectively. Alexis takes on the role of sales director. Additionally, the company has also brought on board digital sales specialists Chung Han Jian and Derry Lim, and Leonard Chooi as heads of sales.

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In line with iMedia's launch, the company has also acquired majority stakes in Oh Media, owner and publisher of Malaysia social news portal Oh! Media, and Ittify, owner and operator of social influencer platform ITTIFY. Additionally, iMedia has also signed exclusive advertising representation agreements with Goody Technologies, the owner and publisher of Chinese and English social news portal Goody25, and Newswav, owner and publisher of the Newswav app. With the acquisitions and exclusive advertising representations, iMedia said it now has a nationwide reach of more than eight million Malaysians.

In a phone conversation with A+M, Voon said among the list of brands it is working with include Ecoworld, Sunway Group, McDonald's, Huawei and Anchor Cheese. When asked why iMedia chose to acquire a majority stake in those Oh Media and Ittify, Voon explained that social influencer marketing has been growing tremendously over the past 24 to 36 months. Also, while Oh Media is strong on the content and branding aspect, one of the key challenges it faces is the commercial aspect of the business. The acquisition will allow both Oh Media and iMedia to combine their expertise in ad sales and content creation. He declined to reveal the percentage of the stakes iMedia has acquired.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding businesses today, the team went ahead with iMedia's launch because it sees huge growth potential in the next four to six months. According to Voon, this is expected to outweigh the economic slowdown that businesses are currently witnessing. As such, the team sees this as an opportunity rather than a setback.

"From a product point of view, we will continue to engage in cross marketing within our network. From a consumer point of view, we will engage them daily with quality content across our social media platforms," Voon explained. The team also aims to grow Ittify's current database of about 6,000 influencers by at least 20% to 30% in the next 12 months.

In addition to the launch, iMedia has received an investment from Catcha Group. Although Voon declined to reveal the exact figure of the investment, he explained that majority of the investment will be focused on strategic M&As and product building.

Catcha Group's co-founder and group CEO Patrick Grove said iMedia has a fantastic starting point with its acquisitions of Ittify and Oh! Media. "There is much more to come and we look forward to working with the team to realise its vision of becoming Southeast Asia's largest social, content and tech media company," he added.

Last year, Voon, Loh, Tee and Alexis co-founded digital sales and media company iCre8 Asia, focusing on offering clients and agencies a 360 solution that includes digital sales and customised content, content production and solutions, events activations and social influencer marketing services. Voon told A+M that the company was set up to represent iflix as its exclusive digital ad sales partner in Malaysia. The contract ended in May this year and as such, the company is dormant for now.

Prior to founding iCre8 Asia, Voon was MD of REV Asia Holdings. Before taking on the role of managing director, Voon was the general manager of REV Asia, during which he was responsible for the operations of REV Asia’s core digital and publishing businesses. “My time with Catcha Media, and then REV Asia (part of Media Prima group) in these many years have been nothing but an amazing and memorable experience,” Voon said in an email previously.