In a continent where investors seem to develop cold feet when it comes to investing in media-related ventures, Ghanaian tech startup, OMG Digital, has announced it has closed on Seed Funding of $1.1 million from international investors Kima Ventures, Soma Capital, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, M&Y Growth Partners, and Macro Ventures, with participation from a number of Angel Investors including Josh Buckley of Mino Games, and Founder of Off-Grid Electric, Francis Xavier Helgesen.
The Y-Combinator – backed new media company targeting Africa’s millennial population through shareable and hyper-local pop-culture content, has been dubbed the ‘Buzzfeed of Africa’ with its OMGVoice brand and has monthly aggregated content views of over 90 million, a monthly social reach of 80 million, with 4.5 million readers to the website each month since its launch in February 2016.
Currently operating in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, the 25-strong team, create and curate listicles, pictorials, videos and memes that are tailored to specific African countries and cultures. Reflecting the diverse interests of the 250 million+ African millennials on the continent, article topics range from 6 Badass Warriors From Ghana you should know of and The Most Ridiculous Nigerian Food Myths, to more serious news such as Ghana, Kenya and Malawi being chosen to pilot the world’s first Malaria vaccine in 2018. The online platform also produces video content focused on culture and hyper-local recipes via their culinary brand, Servepot, and is on the verge of launching two new verticals focused on lifestyle and technology.
Millennials make up more than a third of the continent’s population. They are the most connected generation with a strong affinity to mobile technology and social media usage. 90% of OMG’s subscribers visit from a mobile [predominantly android] device.
On why they chose to invest in OMG Digital Kai Bond, Head of Investing at Comcast’s Catalyst Fund says “OMG Digital have created a truly unique publishing brand through their deep understanding of Africa’s exploding digital media space. Catalyst Fund looks forward to helping this team continue to grow as they scale on such a super-diverse continent.”
Founded by Jesse Arhin Ghansah, Prince Boakye Boampong and Dominic Mensah, the company will use this investment to continue to dominate the social feeds of millennials across the continent by setting up company offices in Accra, Lagos and Nairobi, growing their advertising and marketing operations and investing in producing more video content.
OMG Digital Co-Founder Jesse Arhin Ghansah says “We’re not creating content solely for a homogenous ‘African’. We develop specific content strategies for producing locally relevant material for Africa’s diverse audiences; working hard to ensure that our content is available to millennials regardless of what platform they may be on. Through this, we have managed to build not only one of the biggest audiences in Africa, but also attract some of the biggest consumer brands on the continent and around the world”.
OMG Digital’s online platforms are fast gaining a digital marketing and advertising presence, built on sponsored and native content, giving brands the opportunity to reach audiences through articles, videos, quizzes and other content. They have projects with leading regional mobile network providers as well as Coca Cola, Huawei, KFC and Philips; and has recently started a social media campaign with global superbrand Pringles.
Ghansah concludes, “Global brands now understand the growth metrics Africa presents them, yet they may not quite understand how to actually connect with this new audience, which is where we come in. We know our audiences, what they love, hate and aspire to – how they react to and engage with online media; so we are currently working with some genuinely forward-thinking brands to produce nuanced, smart and engaging sponsored content that resonates with our different communities. Our aim is to be in the newsfeed of every user on the continent through an OMG Digital brand in the future.”