Admin l Tuesday, October 11, 2022
LAGOS, Nigeria – Stearsinsights(Stears) has announced that it succeeded in raising the $3.3million seed round funding with lawn tennis icon, Serena Williams taking part through her SerenaVentures.
Led by MaCVenturesCap, other investors include Melo 7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund and Cascador.
While announcing the development, Stears went into memory lane, stressing that from the beginning, it understood something unique about African markets: “the lack of data impedes capital flows and increases the cost of doing business. It’s been happening for decades and continues to persist. And it’s incredibly disappointing that when professionals—especially those outside Africa—attempt to track what’s happening in African economies, they cannot find reliable data”, the company said.
It noted that the company started as writers, using data as the lever to set a new gold standard for information in Nigeria.
“Every founder who could write, wrote. Every founder who could engineer, engineered. After some months, we cajoled 30+ guest writers—experts in various fields—to join us. With their help, we attracted some attention and built a loyal following.
“Then came the 2019 elections, where we doubled down on our value proposition as information providers and built Nigeria’s first real-time election datasite.
“That datasite brought us two million users, which put us on the map and brought in the investors. Most importantly, it reinforced our belief that Africa needs its own data”, it said.
It explained that followed was first fundraising round of $650,000, led by Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund and backed by Future Africa and CcHub.
“At that point, we knew we had something special, channelling all our expertise into our first insights subscription product, Stears Premium. We used data and rich insights to answer some of Nigerians’ most pressing questions, like Why Nigerians pay rent annually, not monthly, What the Central Bank can learn from Egypt and the Things to ignore from Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential candidates.
“Since launch, we have published nearly 1,000 data-driven stories chronicling the arc of Nigeria’s economic development.
“Pre-launch, the expert consensus was that Nigerians would not pay for articles with this kind of insight because everyone wants it short and sweet. But every day, we offered a new level of depth & insight, and we gave Nigerians a reason to pay.
“The launch was successful; 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. Every day, we improved our ability to answer crucial questions and collect hard-to-find data.
“At this stage, the company had evolved far beyond the founders. None of what we have built would have been possible without the fantastic team of engineers, analysts, consultants, product managers, growth marketers, data scientists and designers who dedicated themselves to solving the information problem on the continent”, Stears said.