The African startup StarNews, specialized in the field of mobile video, carries out its first fundraising with Investisseurs & Partenaires, a pioneering group of impact investing dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa, through its fund I&P Africa Entrepreneurs 2.
A clear ambition: to become the first mobile video network focused on local content in Africa
StarNews started its activities in 2017 in Ivory Coast. The company is positioning itself in a unique niche specifically adapted to the African context to unlock the potential of the mobile video content creation market on the continent. StarNews was designed and developed as a digital platform allowing the creation, production and distribution to mobile subscribers of video content on various themes (celebrities, culture, cuisine, sport, humor, religion, beauty, events, etc.).
Guy Kamgaing, founder and director of the company, started from this observation: while the African mobile market is now the fastest growing in the world, a large majority of African consumers unfortunately do not have access to video content. relevant, for lack of offers adapted to the realities of the local market. A market that Guy Kamgaing knows well: this Cameroonian entrepreneur has more than 20 years of experience in the mobile telephony sector.
« Despite the generalization of smartphones and the increasing access to the mobile internet, value-added service offers are not very Africanized and even when they are, the content comes only from international players. It was necessary to highlight this rich and original local content and allow these players to monetize it as they should. Hence the idea of a distribution platform deployed in partnership with mobile operators, « said Guy Kamgaing, director of StarNews.
Now launched in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, StarNews has forged partnerships with major pan-African mobile operators such as MTN and Orange in order to directly distribute exclusive video content and quality to users who can subscribe via their mobile to the various channels offered. Monetization is one of the key issues of the model: the startup offers content creators a stable source of income by sharing the income generated.
StarNews began by collaborating with local and international African celebrities such as Fally Ipupa, Serge Beynaud, Lady Ponce or Davido and has been moving since 2019 towards the development of new themes.
A pan-African company with great potential
StarNews is raising funds for the first time with the Investors & Partners group, and more specifically its I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 fund, launched at the end of 2017 to support the emergence of a new generation of responsible African companies. The company fully falls within the investment mandate of the IPAE2 fund, due to its unique and relevant positioning in a booming market and its strong impact on the promotion of African talent.
« We are proud to support a talented and experienced African entrepreneur who demonstrates a real commitment to deploying a pan-African and innovative solution. We share StarNews’ ambition to promote African artists and produce a greater diversity of quality local content, with high added value for end users ”explains Nouss Bih, Investment Manager within the I&P group, based in Côte ivory.
The I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 fund continues to invest actively in Sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly in Madagascar, West Africa and East Africa. Starnews is the fund’s 9th investment. By 2022, IPAE 2 aims to finance some twenty additional African SMEs, for amounts of up to 3 million euros (2 billion FCFA).
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