Rachid Arhab lives a second youth. At 68 years old, the former presenter of the France 2 news and ex-wise man of the CSA has embarked on a new audiovisual adventure… on social networks. With his partner Guillaume Pfister, the Franco-Algerian journalist launched Liik last fall, a 100% video social media dedicated to “Pop Med” culture, evoking music, cinema, humor and gastronomy, throughout the Mediterranean basin.
For this “child of public service television”, this dive into the world of social media is “a real revolution and daily learning, it’s exciting”, he confides. If he brings the professionalism and ethics that he has demonstrated during his long cathodic career, Rachid Arhab also learns to “confront himself with different working habits, including in the editing of subjects, because on social networks, the attention span is very short,” he illustrates.
After a first modest fundraising in May 2023 – 270,000 euros obtained from Algerian, Moroccan and French investors, including Xavier Niel or the Cegrain family, owner of Longchamp -, Liik – “for you” in Arabic – is preparing a second “much more substantial” one, according to its co-founder. The amounts envisaged remain confidential, as does the identity of the future investors.
Fundraising in sight
Such a project could legitimately attract the attention of a group like CMA CGM, implanted at Marseille and who has already shown his interest in video media by investing in Raw last year. When contacted, the media subsidiary of CMA CGM, Whynot Media, did not respond to our requests.
The arrival of fresh capital could give Liik the means to take off, after promising first months. These new funds will make it possible to double the team in 2024 – currently 8 people and based in Clichy – to increase the rate of production, currently one video per day, and accumulate more than 150 million views by the end of 2024, Liik hopes.
Heir to a first concept called Plumm born during covid and initiated with the former audiovisual director Pascal Josephus, now defunct, the media has already exceeded 20 million views in a few months on the various social networks, equally distributed between France and the countries of the southern Mediterranean, such as Algeria (rather on Facebook), Morocco ( rather via Instagram and TikTok) or Tunisia. “We are also starting to break through in Egypt, Dubai and North America,” adds Rachid Arhab, for whom the Maghreb diaspora can constitute an audience lever.
A target of 70 million “millennials”
For Liik, which aims to bring the shores of the Mediterranean closer together, a bit like Arte did for France and Germany, the potential audience base is large. A market study carried out by Ernst & Young counts more than 70 million “millennials”, consumers of 3.5 hours of social videos per day on average, and distributed between France, Spain, and Italy, to the north of the Mediterranean and Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, to the south.
To find an economic balance, hoped for within 3 to 5 years, the start-up is counting on the development of an agency activity for brands, combining “brand content” and white label production. A model adopted by other pure video players, such as Loopsider,Raw Or Konbini. “The specificity of the audience we are targeting attracts the attention of brands,” confirms Rachid Arhab, while discussions are underway with several of them.