Big Cabal Media (BCM) has secured $2.3 million to close its Seed Series round.
The round was led by MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Luminate, Unicorn Group, Future Africa and a range of angel investors. Prior to this fundraise, the pan-African media company has raised about $620,000 in angel and its pre-seed funding between 2016 and 2020.
Launched in 2014, BCM is known for covering technology and youth culture on the continent through its platforms, TechCabal and Zikoko. With this investment, BCM will grow its audiences, build out new technology products and further consolidate its position as one of the most important media and technology brands across Africa.
According to BCM, its publication, Zikoko that reflects and amplifies the most urgent elements of youth culture in Nigeria reaches over twenty million readers monthly. Meanwhile, TechCabal, the company’s flagship publication, is one of the most important publication covering Africa’s burgeoning technology ecosystem; combining high-quality reporting, daily newsletters and events that draw the biggest operators and investors together.
In addition to building content and news platforms, BCM has grown its services to include Cabal Creative, an in-house content studio that has produced content for global brands such as Google, Uber and Coca-Cola; and TC Insights, a data analytics consulting service focused on custom research, industry strategy and digital transformation projects.
“We’re thrilled to have new funding and partners who recognize the opportunity to build a truly global media and technology operation from Africa. This round will allow us to invest deeply in technology products and our own tech stack, video production arm, and growing our reach across and beyond the continent.” Tomiwa Aladekomo, BCM's CEO said.
60 percent of Africa’s 550 million internet users are under the age of 25. Nigeria, where Big Cabal operates from, is one the largest internet markets, with over 154 million people on the internet and a fast-growing tech sector that is rapidly transforming the economy. With media business models in flux globally, Big Cabal is focused on business innovation as it is on content and technology. “We’ve always seen advertising as a critical but insufficient revenue basis for a successful media business,” Tomiwa notes.
He added that “our thesis is that we can build high-engagement media brands in valuable niche spaces, and build products and services - like Tech Women Lagos and Jollof Road - to serve audiences, advertisers and other partners. Part of what this investment will fund is the development of an evolved version of Zikoko Memes, a Giphy-like product focused on African memes, gifs and images, that we first launched in 2020 and has shown great promise.”
Even though African startups raised an estimated $4.7bn in 2021, with fintech startups receiving approximately 63 percent of that volume. Digital media has not been a big part of that funding equation, despite Africa having one of fastest growing digital media sectors globally. Nigeria's Stears, Dataphyte and Ghana’s OMG Digital are some of the digital media outlets that have recently raised venture capital.
According to Marlon Nichols, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of MaC Venture Capital, the lead investors, “investing in Africa’s booming digital media sector aligns perfectly with MaC’s mission of supporting exceptional entrepreneurs building valuable technology companies that leverage shifts in cultural trends and behaviours. I have no doubt that BCM will seize this unique opportunity to continue leading conversations in culture and helping digital consumers access the information that matters most to them.”