On February 3, 2023, media localization giant, Iyuno, announced its investment in Turkish subtitling and dubbing provider, Ak’la Kara International. The financial terms of the deal, which closed on January 4, 2023, were not disclosed.
Founded in 2000 by Savaş Özdural and Kerem Kobanbay, Ak’la Kara provides Turkish media localization services for film and episodic content to customers including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Discovery. It works with content providers, distributors, TV channels, and digital platforms as well as game and advertising companies.
Iyuno’s Founder and CEO, David Lee, said the two companies had a prior relationship, with Ak’la Kara having been “an outsource contractor of Iyuno for a number of years with Turkish dubbing.” Lee confirmed that Ak’la Kara will continue under the leadership of its founders and existing management team and will retain its own brand.
Lee said Ak’la Kara’s revenues are not being disclosed publicly but told Slator that Iyuno generated a little more than USD 0.5bn in revenues for 2022. He added, “It is too early to provide a forecast for this year, but we are optimistic 2023 will be another solid year of growth.”
The investment sees Iyuno enter its 35th market globally and will strengthen the US-headquartered media localizer’s presence in the EMEA region. The transaction also expands Iyuno’s capacity for Turkish language dubbing.
Describing the factors that are driving demand for Turkish dubbing, Lee said Turkey has “a vibrant market with a substantial potential for growth.” He added, “Turkish consumer demand for international content continues to grow. Many of the major content platforms view Turkey as a growth opportunity.”
One of Iyuno’s key competitors, UK-based Zoo Digital, launched its Turkey operations in late 2021 through a strategic investment in Istanbul-based media localization provider, ARES Media. Zoo went on to launch in Korea (via a 51% acquisition of WhatSub Pro) and India (by acquiring Vista India) in March 2022.
Asked about Iyuno’s M&A strategy moving forward, Lee observed, “There are still a number of high-growth dubbing markets where we do not yet own-and-operate, and each of these markets are being carefully considered for potential future expansion.”