Stears, a Nigerian data, media and insight firm, has raised $3.3 million in seed capital to establish its presence in East and Southern Africa.
This is coming two years after Stears raised $650,000 in pre-seed funding. And recently, it was one of many 60 startups to get accepted into the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund 2022 cohort.
Stears will use part of the funds to expand its product breadth beyond insights to data, deepen data partnerships, and collect its proprietary data, which it will license to users.
The funding, which involves popular tennis star, Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, was led by MaC Enterprise Capital. Others included Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, Melo 7 Tech Companions and Cascador (Empowering Financial Development Basis).
Stears began as a media publication targeted at monetary information and insights in Nigeria in 2017. It was established by four persons who met during secondary school at Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja, Nigeria, and the London School of Economics and Imperial College in the UK.
These are Mr Michael Famoroti, an economist; Mr Bode Ogunlana, a software engineer; Mr Abdul Abdulrahim, a data scientist; and Mr Preston Ideh, a corporate lawyer.
Its flagship subscription insights product, Stears Premium, comprises content material starting from information and opinion items to investigative items and deep dives, educating most of the people on points around enterprise and finance, financial system, authorities and coverage in Nigeria.
Stears plans to improve its reporting insights from the data it sources. It wants to collate data, engage in deep data analytics and present it to its business customers in various formats.
Speaking on the deal, Mr Ideh told tech reporting platform, TechCrunch, that, “We have a strong understanding of the kind of information people need. So our focus is on standardizing information dissemination and building with the customer in mind.
“An essential part of our business model is pushing out high-value subscription data products, for instance, proprietary forecast models. Conversely, the low-value end will be news, so customers’ willingness to spend changes as they go along the spectrum.”
On her part, Ms Williams, according to Bloomberg, said, “One of the main reasons I invested in Stears is not because of my love and appreciation for Africa, but because Stears has strategically thought of how to increase the investment community on the continent.
“They’re aware of the complexities and have leverage with data and technology, and I truly respect what they’re doing.”
The company says its userbase has grown mainly organically at around 6.5 per cent month-on-month, doubling its total number of users over the last year.
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