‘Think Local, captivate the reader and build world class platforms for Africa from within Africa’ is the success formula for Umuntu Media CEO Johan Nel: Umuntu Media raised $1 million series A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) as a first step to take the successful local information portals www.iNamibia.co.na and www.iZambia.co.zm to ultimatelly an additional nine African countries. The funds will also be partly used to build a mobile communications platform that caters for Africa’s needs. This platform will be launched in Alpha version before Jan 2012.
Umuntu Media has proven this concept to work with their extraordinary uptake of iNamibia and iZambia. The success comes down to truly local content: Umuntu Media employs on the ground journalists and encourages citizen journalism to publish world class local and hyper local news on their platforms.
Umuntu means ‘person’ in Ndebele and people are the core of the strategy. “We want to be the one stop content and information shop for our readers. So far we’ve established a news and entertainment section, offer the largest database of accommodation establishments in Namibia and Zambia, showcase the latest music and events and have integrated a property and job board. All this information is locally produced to create relevance, as we believe it’s the local content that counts.” explained Johan Nel.
Brian Hirman of eVA Fund: “Quality local content is still a gap in the market in Africa. It is a massive challenge, but we have the vision, we have the team and we have the guts to make this happen. We have great confident in Johan Nel and his team. That is why we are happy to invest a second round in Umuntu Media today and will continue to invest and actively support the team in the future.”