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Stears, a Nigerian data startup, has announced that it has raised $3.3 million in its seed funding round. News of this broke earlier on Tuesday.

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The round was led by MaC Venture Capital, a US-based, seed-stage venture capital firm. Also participating were Serena Ventures (owned by former tennis star Serena Williams), Luminate Fund (part of the Omidyar Group), Melo 7 Tech Partners, and Cascador.

Two years ago, Stears secured $650,000 in pre-seed funding. That round was led by Luminate and an unnamed local venture capital firm.

Stears is widely known for its online publication, which provides business news analysis and data-driven insights concerning Nigeria’s business and economic landscape. The degree of detail that it provides has made it a favourite among employees in the corporate world. A growing number of people in this class are subscribing to Stears Premium, which delivers paid content.

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Besides the data-rich material that’s available on Stears Premium, the firm also offers content concerning the Nigerian economy to international organizations and professionals whose work requires them to work with data. It serves this up via another of its arms, Stears Pro.

A team of four—Preston Ideh, Bode Ogunlana, Abdul Abdulrahim, and Michael Famoroti –founded Stears in 2017. They did so in order to tackle the dearth of data concerning Nigeria’s economy, a problem they encountered while studying at the London School of Economics.

In the years that followed, the company grew its reach through subscriptions from businesses whose employees read its content. Its team now hopes to focus on providing data that doesn’t exist anywhere else to its client organizations—a target that its latest funding could help it meet.

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Stears has recorded a significant increase in its earnings in the past couple of years. Between 2020 and 2021, its revenues grew by 80%. It’s set to be double what it was last year by the end of 2022. Numbers like this, as well as the vast field of unmet needs around data collection and provision in Nigeria, may have convinced investors of its future prospects.

Preston Ideh, co-founder and CEO at Stears, says its latest fundraiser will also enable it to hire more data scientists and analysts. It also plans to expand into other regions of Africa. The startup wants to launch in Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt, which will be based on which it’ll serve the East African, South African and North African markets.

Commenting on his company’s investment in Stears, Marlon Nichols, co-founder and managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital, said that Stears’ could play a pivotal role in capturing crucial economic data about Africa—data that multinational corporations and governments need.

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This article was first published on 12th October 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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