Fair Money raises $42 million as it evolves into a digital bank
JULY 4, 2021 This newsletter is a weekly in-depth analysis of tech and innovation in Africa that will serve as a post-pandemic guide. Subscribe here to get it directly in your inbox every Sunday at 3 pm WAT.
Hi everyone, it’s Koromone. Africa’s creator economy is booming and everyone — from investors to entrepreneurs to the creators themselves — are looking for ways to cash in, or cash out in the case of popular African comedians with epic followings.
I won’t go as far as to say that content creation is the new oil but there is something to be said for how platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Triller are providing hyper-creative African creators with the bells and whistles they need to entertain their fans and keep them glued to their phones like digital zombies.
This edition of Next Wave will explore the current state of Africa’s creator economy and speak into the future of video-creating and sharing platforms on the continent.
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Now, let’s dive into the story.
With the Twitter ban still waxing strong in Nigeria, popular skit makers like Oli Ekun, Koye “K10” and Switope (aka queen of impressions) are not losing their steam. These three are part of a new crop of talented comedians who have envious social wealth and are adding incredible value to Nigeria’s creator economy.
Beyond providing African creators with the tools they need to entertain their fans, video-sharing and creating platforms also connect influential creators to local and international brands who are willing to spend big bucks on customer acquisition and retention. Who else is impressed by the rise of Elsa Majimbo’s success story? The well-loved Kenyan comedienne, who rose to fame after posting satirical monologues on Twitter, has hung out with Naomi Campbell, collaborated with Valentino, and posed on the cover of GQ South Africa.
Boluwatife Sanwo/TC Insights
If you are African then you know how opposed African parents are to their children studying anything but science subjects. But the 2020 pandemic opened the floodgates of creative juices and it looks like gifted creators are finally getting the respect they deserve.
Widening the creator’s pool
I first discovered Cameo after Feyikemi Abudu posted a video of Amir Arison (The Blacklist) shouting her out on camera. With Cameo anyone can hire a celebrity actor, athlete or musician to make a personalized shout-out video. Cameo gives its celebrity users the freedom to decline video requests that don’t suit their tastes.
While Cameo has a database of celebrities from mostly the US and Europe, the app hasn’t onboarded any African celebrities. Imagine being able to pay Burna Boy or Yemi Alade to make a shout-out video for you or a loved one?
In 2016, IrokoTV launched IrokoX – an online network designed to help indie (independent) creators hack monetisation and distribution. The platform has since gone quiet and all that is left is a paper trail of online press releases.
But all hope isn’t lost yet. Last week, Minly – an Egypt-based creator platform – announced that they raised $3.6 million in a seed round to enable stars in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to create personalized videos for their fans.
Like most startups with an eye for the creator economy, Minly launched late last year during the thick of the COVID pandemic. Since their entrance into the digital ecosystem, Minly has onboard over 50,000 users and have an impressive list of regional celebrities on their platforms.
Now the question on my mind is: Will Minly expand to other countries on the continent or will we see African entrepreneurs build creator platforms to cater to their home country’s entertainment needs?
FROM THE CABAL
TeamApt closes an undisclosed amount in its recently announced Series B round. According to the company’s co-founder and CEO, Tosin Eniolorunda, they have their eyes set on Francophone Africa. (Alexander for TechCabal).
Faith Keza is helping the Rwandan government digitise their processes. Read her life in tech story here. (Edwin for TechCabal).
Fair Money is evolving into a digital bank, with $42 million in the bank. (Daniel for TechCabal).
PayHippo is on a mission to improve access to funding for SMEs in Africa. (Michael for TechCabal).
Have a great week
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