Stears has announced a $3.3 million seed round with MaC Venture Capital as the lead investor. Participating companies included Serena Ventures, Luminate Fund of Omidyar Group, Melo 7 Tech Partners, and Cascador (Empowering Economic Growth Foundation).
Two years after raising $650,000 in pre-seed finance, Stears has received this announcement. It received some non-dilutive capital as one of the 60 firms approved into the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund 2022 batch last month.
To address the lack of knowledge and data-driven insights in the West African nation, Preston Ideh, a corporate lawyer, Michael Famoroti, a data scientist, Bode Ogunlana, a software developer, and Abdul Abdulrahim founded a media business in 2017.
In Nigeria, Stears began as a media outlet specializing in financial news and analysis. Stears Premium, its flagship subscription insights product, educates the entire public on topics related to business and finance, economics, government, and policy in Nigeria. Its content ranges from news and opinion articles to investigative pieces and deep dives.
Customers, especially workers working in various finance-related institutions across the nation, heavily utilized the $100/year offering.
Stears then targeted the offering to corporations who wished to subscribe in favor of their teams since these institutions have more purchasing power.
Financial institutions including Sterling Bank and fintech companies like Sparkle, PiggyVest, and Paystack are among its subscribers.
According to the company, its user base has doubled in size over the past year, growing mostly organically at a rate of about 6.5% per month.
Stears has evolved into a data and intelligence firm with the iteration of Stears Premium and the addition of the products Stears Pro and Stears Advisory. Content on Stears Premium is influenced by macro trends and issues like GDP and inflation.
For international organizations like the United Nations Development Programme, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, and the knowledge workers who work in them, including roles like analysts, portfolio managers, researchers, and economists, Stears Pro, on the other hand, offers more tailored content around particular issues like market entry, country analysis, and the digital economy.
But with this fresh funding supporting its move from an insights company to a data company, Stears is preparing a change in approach for the Pro offering.