Nigerian Data and Intelligence Company Stears Raises $3.3 Million, Backed by Mac VC and Serena Ventures
By Tage Kene-Okafor
While studying at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford, a group of graduates noticed how difficult it was to get data and information on Africa’s largest economy and their home country, Nigeria. Each had different yet complementary skills — Michael Famoroti, an economist; Bode Ogunlana, a software engineer; Abdul Abdulrahim, a data scientist; and Preston Ideh, a corporate lawyer — and in 2017, they launched a media startup to address the dearth of information and data-driven insights in the West African country.
Five years on, this startup, Stears, is announcing a $3.3 million seed round led by MaC Venture Capital. Serena Ventures, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, Melo 7 Tech Partners and Cascador (Empowering Economic Growth Foundation) participated. This news is coming two years after Stears raised $650,000 in pre-seed funding. Last month, it was one of the 60 startups to get accepted into the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund 2022 cohort, which included some non-dilutive funding.
Stears started as a media publication focused on financial news and insights in Nigeria. Its flagship subscription insights product, Stears Premium, contains content ranging from news and opinion pieces to investigative pieces and deep dives, educating the general public on issues around business and finance, economy, government and policy in Nigeria. The $100-a-year product witnessed significant usage among consumers, particularly employees working in various finance-related institutions across the country. And because these institutions have more spending power, Stears subsequently tailored the product to businesses who wanted to subscribe on behalf of their teams. Some of its subscribers include financial institutions like Sterling Bank, and fintechs like Sparkle, PiggyVest and Paystack. The company says its userbase has grown mainly organically at around 6.5% month-on-month, doubling its total number of users over the last year.
Photo courtesy of diema.