BrandArena: Nigerian media startup, Stears raises $3.3 Million in Seed Funding

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Nigerian media startup, Stears raises $3.3 Million in Seed Funding

Nigeria’s digital media & information company, Stears has secured $3.3 million in a seed funding round led by MaC Ventures Capital with participation from Serena Ventures, Melo 7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund and Cascador, we take a trip down memory lane to see where have come, as we share what this new fundraise means for our future.

With the new fund raised, Stears wants to build the most valuable database on African economies and markets. The company will also look to expand its intelligence team into Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt. It will also develop local expertise that cannot be replicated with remote offices.

Stears started as a team of writers using data as the lever to set a new gold standard for information in Nigeria. The company moved to get as many founders to write and after some months was able to persuade over 30 writers; experts in various to join its team. This helped the company to get a considerable amount of traction.

Significantly in 2019, the company doubled down on its value proposition as an information provider and built Nigeria’s first real-time election data site. That data site brought it two million users, which positioned Stears on the map and brought in investors.

Subsequently, Stears secured its first funding round of $650,000, led by Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund and backed by Future Africa and CcHub. This enabled the company to launch its insights subscription product, Stears Premium. Since its launch, the company has published nearly 1,000 data-driven stories chronicling the arc of Nigeria’s economic development. 

Undeterred by the notion that Nigerians would not pay for articles with this kind of insight because everyone wants it short and sweet, Stears continued to offer a new level of depth & insight giving Nigerians a reason to pay.

The brand became even more trusted in professional circles. What started as a consumer product became the gateway to a world of enterprise customers— the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, the European Investment Bank, the British High Commission in Nigeria, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the US Embassy. The team continued to improve its ability to answer crucial questions and collect hard-to-find data.

The company is not resting on its oars as it is fixated on its mission to become the world’s most trusted provider of African data and insight.

The company said, “We know that the market wants more than just articles, no matter how well-researched. It isn’t just about building Stears 2.0 in the 54 African countries; that is not the goal. To be the most trusted source of data and insights in Africa, a >$1 trillion economy with >1 billion people, the continent needs deep, reliable, regular streams of data, not just articles or reports. To provide this, we know what we must do next: focus on making proprietary data, models, tools and forecasts directly available to our users.

“To become the most trusted source of data and insights, we have to do three things that haven’t been done in Africa before; first, identify all existing sources of data; second, design a shared language to understand all the data; and third; combine these datasets to create proprietary views of the African market that don’t exist anywhere else.”

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