(Business in Cameroon) - Panafricn startup StarNews Mobile recently received funding from Investors & Partners (I&P) - a pioneering impact investment group entirely dedicated to start-ups and medium-sized enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa- and Expert DOJO (an international accelerator). The funding, whose volume has not been disclosed, was completed through the I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE2) fund (which completed its third and last closing in early 2020 bringing the fund’s total capacity to €92 million or over XAF60 billion).
Funded in Côte d’Ivoire, in 2017, by Cameroon citizen Guy Kamgaing, StarNews Mobile “is a network of mobile video channels that allows celebrities and brands to monetize their fan bases in Africa.” It is present in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DR Congo, and South Africa. Thanks to the funds obtained, it will develop its offers adapted to the African continent and increase the number of topics (celebrities, culture, food, sports, jokes, religion, beauty, marketing…) covered. Indeed, Guy Kamgaing started the project by collaborating with African celebrities like Fally Ipupa, Serge Beynaud, Lady Ponce, and Davido but in 2019, his startup launched the diversification of topics covered.
According to a release published to announce the funding, StarNews Mobile was selected by “IPAE2 investors due to its unique and relevant position in a booming content market and for its strong impact in promoting African talents.” The talents are notably content creators, to whom it offers a steady income stream by sharing the revenues generated (through the distribution of the creators’ video via mobile) with them.
“We are proud to support a talented and experienced African entrepreneur who demonstrates a real commitment to deploy a pan-African solution and innovation (…) We share StarNews’s ambition to promote African artists and produce a greater diversity of quality local content, with high added value for end-users,” says Nouss Bih, I&P investment manager in Côte d’Ivoire.
“Despite the generalization of smartphones and increasing access on the mobile internet, value-added service offers are not very ‘Africanized’ and even when it is, the content is sourced only from international players (…) It was necessary to highlight this rich and original local content and allow its players to monetize it as it should be. Hence the idea of a distribution platform deployed in partnership with mobile operators (ed. note: MTN and Orange),” explains Guy Kamgaing who has over 20 years experience in the mobile telephony sector.
Brice R. Mbodiam