OMG Digital, the Ghana-based totally media startup dubbed the “BuzzFeed of Africa,” introduced lately that it has raised $ 1.1 million in seed funding. Its main site, OMG Voice, already has variations for Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, and the brand new capital will likely be used to increase into more nations.
OMG Digital’s new traders are Kima Ventures, Soma Capital, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, M&Y boom companions, and Macro Ventures. Angel traders, together with Josh Buckley of Mino games, Will Sternlicht, leisure legal professional Kenneth Hertz, and Off-Grid electrical founder Frances Xavier Helgesen, also participated. The startup used to be prior to now lined by way of TechCrunch remaining summer time whereas going down in Y Combinator’s accelerator application.
Launched by means of Jesse Arhin Ghansah, Prince Boakye Boampong, and Dominic Mensah in February 2016, OMG Voice now claims four.5 million distinctive visitors every month. OMG Digital already has a group of 25 and plans to launch websites for South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania. Its seed capital will probably be used to strengthen its enlargement, produce more video content material, and grow its promoting and advertising departments.
Ghansah and his co-founders started OMG Ghana in 2012 after they had been in faculty. Smartphones had been gaining popularity, but Ghansah had a difficult time finding attention-grabbing things to read.
“It used to be truly irritating for us because we might go online and the entire content material was just boring news and politics and stuff. So we wished to create something for folks like us, with listicles and lightweight content. Smartphones started to take off and facebook changed into tremendous popular as neatly, and that’s why we started OMG,” says Ghansah.
“the general public on-line back then had been formative years like us. BuzzFeed and Mashable were doing issues for millennials, however we couldn’t really relate to their content material, so we created one thing for ourselves.”
to start with, Ghansah, Boampong, and Mensah didn’t see OMG Ghana as their primary project, and tried to launch a microlending platform as an alternative. but that struggled to get funding, while OMG Ghana started out to realize more readers and make some money. The three decided to turn it into a media firm and have been typical into Y Combinator. all through their stint in this system final 12 months, Ghansah says they discovered find out how to be “super bold.”
“We needed to start out from Ghana but they said to move to different international locations. YC pushes you to take greater risks and push yourself.”
Ghansah adds that over a third of Africans are millennials, so OMG Digital has quite a few a possible readers. One problem it faces that BuzzFeed doesn’t, then again, is the vast difference in languages and culture throughout Africa.
though most things can also be shared between the sites, each usa’s version of OMG Voice has a variety of tailored content. for instance, the Ghana web site has headlines like “14 instances The Phrase ‘Bye Felicia’ was just Too good A Response In Ghana” and “6 Badass Warriors From Ghana You will have to comprehend,” while Kenyan readers can click on “10 explanation why Kenyans actually Love sport Of Thrones” and “you’re going to Now Serve penal complex term In Kenya in case you are discovered With A Plastic Bag.”
“There are various cultural nuances and variations, however in some nations, there are some similarities,” says Ghansah. “Like Ghana and Nigeria are close relating to culture, so it’s simple to create content material for both of them. Kenyans and Tanzanians have similar cultures as well, so we’re trying to sort out [expansion] just through going into the countries we’re already in and finding the following closest market in terms of tradition.”
the company will begin with English-speaking markets sooner than tackling French and other languages, with the intention of in the future being existing in every African usa. OMG Voice already has a culinary vertical called ServePot, and plans to launch tech and way of life verticals as smartly. the company will also started building an occasions business, with meetups and startup conferences.
Like BuzzFeed and different an identical firms, OMG Digital monetizes through digital advertising. currently eighty percent of its ad sales are from banner ads, but as in different markets, its advertisers are seeing a smaller return on funding and on the lookout for alternatives which are more ideal to cellular displays (about 90 p.c of OMG Digital’s customers get right of entry to its content via cell devices, in particular Android smartphones).
About 60 percent of OMG Digital customers are between 18 to 24 years old and certainly one of its value propositions is helping in another country firms work out the best way to reach younger African customers in different markets (as an instance, in some nations Twitter is extra well-liked than facebook, so localized methods need to take that into consideration). OMG Digital has already partnered with Coca Cola, Huawei, KFC, Philips, Pringles, and several of Africa’s largest telecoms, together with MTN, on advertising and marketing campaigns and backed content material.
“We wish to pioneer content promotion in Africa with main manufacturers and it’s going good to this point,” says Ghansah. “brands are beginning to get it and the next two years might be big for us.”
Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch