Y-Combinator-Backed Ghanaian Media Startup Raises $1.1M In Quest To Be ‘BuzzFeed Of Africa’

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Backed by arguably the world’s most powerful startup accelerator, Ghanaian media startup OMG Digital has raised $1.1 million in seed funding to help fulfill its growing reputation as the “BuzzFeed of Africa.”

OMG Voice, the primary website run by the group, operates with versions in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, and the new investment will go towards expanding the footprint of the brand to more African countries.

Known as “The BuzzFeed of Africa” due to the company’s focus on creating content for millennials, the tech startup creates and curates listicles, pictorials, videos and memes with an African audience in mind, according to Techpoint.

The $1.1 million in seed funding was raised via international investors including Paris-based Kima Ventures, San Francisco-based Soma Capital, San Francisco-based Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Silicon Valley-based Social Capital, California City-based M&Y Growth Partners, Los Angeles-based Macro Ventures and several angel investors.

From AFKInsider. Story by Peter Pedroncelli.

The Y-Combinator backed company was co-founded by Ghanaians Jesse Arhin Ghansah, Prince Boakye Boampong, and Dominic Mensah in February 2016, and has already attracted 4.5 million unique users per month for OMG Voice, according to JBKlutse.

Silicon Valley-based Y-Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year it invests “a small amount of money ($120,000) in a large number of startups (recently 105),” according to the YC website.

The startups move to Silicon Valley for three months where experts work with them to refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to an invitation-only audience. The YC alumni network continues to help founders for the life of their company, and beyond.

Fortune described Y Combinator “a spawning ground for emerging tech giants.” Fast Company has described YC as “the world’s most powerful start-up incubator.”

Funding to expand ‘the BuzzFeed of Africa’

OMG Digital has 25 employees in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, with plans in place for further expansion, which will be made possible through the investment.

South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania are the next countries where sites are expected to be launched. Along with the expansion, the seed capital will be used to grow advertising, marketing and more video content production, according to TechCrunch.

The OMG Digital co-founders decided to set up the company because online content available to them was boring. When it catered to their age group, it was not culturally relevant to them in Ghana.

They thought that the same must be true elsewhere in Africa, and the new media company was born with a motivation to eventually be present in all African countries.

Immediate expansion plans target English-speaking countries in Africa, with moves into Francophone and Lusophone countries following at a later stage.

Much like BuzzFeed, OMG Digital monetizes through digital marketing, but it has also enjoyed successful advertising campaigns with major brands.

OMG Digital has already partnered with Coca Cola, Huawei, KFC, Philips, Pringles, and several of Africa’s largest telecoms including MTN on marketing campaigns and sponsored content, according to TechCrunch.

Read more at AFKInsider.