Stears, a Nigerian data and intelligence platform has raised $3.3 million to enhance its data collection and analytics capabilities, acquire talent and expand into East and Southern Africa. MaC Venture Capital led this seed round. It also saw participation from Serena Ventures, Melo 7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, and Cascador.
According to Bloomberg, Stears round comes in a year that has been a historic high for African startup funding. Even so, early-stage African companies tend to raise less than their US counterparts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The median investment for African seed rounds this year is $2.6 million, compared with a median of $4.5 million in the US.
Stears was founded by Preston Ideh, Abdul Abdulrahim, Foluso Ogunlana and Michael Famoroti in 2017 as the solution to data shortage in the country. Since then, Stears has evolved from a free-to-read publication into a data and intelligence company. The startup’s flagship product is Stears Insights, formerly known as Stears Business, a site that offers in-depth insight for finance professionals, using data. By crunching proprietary and publicly available data, Stears Insights is able to provide valuable insights for its individual and corporate clients.
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.
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.Preston Ideh told TechCrunch in an interview.
In a statement, Stears said its user base has grown at around 6.5% month-on-monthly in the past year, doubling its total number of users over the last year. Enterprise customers contribute 75% of its revenue, rising from 45% in 2021. According to the company, its revenue in the past 6 months of 2022 surpassed that for all of 2021.