For a few years now, there’s been a rise of local media in African ecosystems like Nigeria, powered through tech publications run by local digital media startups. Platforms like ours (MoreBranches), Native Mag, TheRepublic, Stears Business’ and many more have tried to shape the narratives of the growing generation by curating content and pieces that document the real-time growth and turmoils being faced.
The major problem for most of these platforms has been scaling, raising significant venture capital seemed elusive to startups in Africa’s digital media landscape that rely on grants and personal funding to scale. According to TechCabal, in 2021, venture capital invested $115 million in digital media globally, a tenth of the $1.1billion it funded in 2015, but not much came to Africa. Digital newsrooms in Africa are more likely to receive story grants than business funding, with a few exceptions.
Today might be a big turning point, as Big Cabal Media (BCM) — the Nigeria-based media company that houses two well-known publications, TechCabal and Zikoko — is announcing that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding to expand its audience and build new verticals.
Prior to this funding, with just over $600,000 raised in funding, BCM has grown to become one of the most exciting media and tech businesses in Africa. Its two major publications, TechCabal and Zikoko, reach over 30 million people monthly across platforms, with over 170,000 newsletter subscribers, and a 225% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2021, TechCabal says.
I joined BCM in 2018, brought on some really talented people, and we immediately kickstarted a period of experimentation. Our experiments encompassed editorial content and approaches, monetization, and even company culture. We are expanding our video production by exploring docuseries and short films. We will be transforming our studio into a community hub for creatives, and introducing 3 new tech products, including the Zikoko app and Zikoko Memes 2.0, which first launched in 2020. We will also be building out new audiences while offering competitive wages.CEO of Big Cabal Media Aladekomo said.
BCM was founded by Seyi Taylor and Bankole Oluwafemi in 2013. Tomiwa Aladekomo, the company’s CEO, took over from Taylor in 2018. CEO Aladekomo told TechCrunch on a call that TechCabal’s website reaches 300,000 to 500,000 unique readers monthly. He also said the publication’s newsletters are read by more than 60,000 subscribers across more than 30 countries. While TechCabal targets stakeholders in the tech space, Zikoko has a different audience