Star News Mobile, a creator monetisation platform for Africans, has raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Janngo Capital. It has raised nearly $8 million from investors such as LoftyInc Capital and Expert Dojo
Barcelona defender, Jules Koundé joins Real Madrid midfielder, Aurélien Tchouameni, and AC Milan shot-stopper Mike Maignan in the round.
"I am very excited and proud to back StarNews, the first media platform that supports African creators and tells the world the real African story. Being of Cameroonian descent, I can also see StarNews becoming a bridge to connect with the African diaspora, and I personally look forward to being on it," Fernand Tchouameni, spokesperson for Aurélien Tchouameni, said.
StarNews was founded in 2017 by Guy Kamgaing to provide monetisation options for African creators. It draws on partnerships with telecommunications companies like MTN and Orange in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, and Benin.
Currently, the startup has 4 million active subscribers and works with 120 content creators. It provides funding and customer acquisition support for these creators, while also providing hyperlocal content.
Using content from the 2021 African Cup of Nations, it attracted 600,000 new users, and sponsoring a Fally Ipupa concert saw it gain 500,000 subscribers. Ipupa is one of the startup's major creators, with nearly a million subscribers on the platform. Others include Nigerian dancer, Kaffy and Cameroonian musician, Lady Ponce.
Monetising content for African creators remains a challenge, but StarNews seems to have figured out a way around this. It paid out $1 million to creators in 2022, with an average of $70,000 monthly. Recently, it announced the StarNews Mobile Creator Fund through which it offers upfront payments to creators. Potential payments are determined using an AI model.
Much of StarNews subscribers come from Francophone Africa, but with more money to support its mission, it plans to expand its coverage. It hopes to be in 11 countries by 2024 while strengthening its position in countries like Nigeria and Ghana.