Pan-African Data and Intelligence Company, Stears, Raises $3.3 Million in Seed Round

Pan-African Data and Intelligence Company, Stears, Raises $3.3 Million in Seed Round

Founded in 2017 by four Nigerian graduates of the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford — Michael Famoroti, an economist; Bode Ogunlana, a software engineer; Abdul Abdulrahim, a data scientist and Preston Ideh, a corporate lawyer — the group aimed at creating a solution to the difficulty in accessing data and information in their home country, Nigeria.

Now a pan-African financial data and intelligence company, Stears provides data-driven insight into Nigeria to businesses and professionals. With its products; Stears Premium, Stears Data and Stears Advisory, the company has been able to develop a live COVID-19 case monitoring platform and a record of providing Nigeria’s first real-time election database which over 2 million Nigerians used to monitor the general elections in 2019.

The company has closed its seed round at $3.3 million led by MaC Venture Capital. Other participants in the recently concluded round include Serena Ventures, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, Melo 7 Tech Partners, Cascador and Hoaq Club. The total funding received by the company is now up to $4 million with its $650,000 pre-seed round in April 2020.

In September 2022, the intelligence company was one of the 60 startups listed for Google for Startups Black Founders Fund 2022 cohort which included some non-dilutive funding. The seed round is geared towards improving its data collection and analytics capabilities, talent acquisition, and expansion into East and Southern Africa.

Speaking on the fundraise, Stears CEO, Preston Ideh said: “We know global professionals need our data and insight because banks, research firms, development organizations, and investors are already using our early products. Our customers tell us we are building a ‘systemically important’ company to address Africa’s data problem.”

To enable fresh and, or up-to-date insights, the company is building an African version of Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.

“Globally, information providers like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters have built data powerhouses which act as information gateways to Western markets. We are executing an African version of this model, focused on the often missing, outdated or poorly digitised African datasets needed by operators, finance and policy professionals, researchers and even regulators,” the CEO added.

Also commenting on the raise, co-founder and managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital, Marlon Nichols said: “Africa is home to the first humans and is now the next frontier for business. Many multinational corporations and governments understand this to be a reality. They also appreciate that several African countries are subject to unique business processes and are primarily cash-based economies, which results in understated GDP, among other things.”

“Stears is uniquely positioned to provide the proprietary and accurate data needed to unlock trade and deeper business relationships with African countries and companies.”

Professional tennis player, and, founder and managing general partner at Serena Ventures, Serena Williams said: “Better and more transparent business and financial data is expected to lead to more investment in the African continent. Stears has shown a deep appreciation of the complexities involved in solving this problem for global professionals. Through a combination of technology and data, Stears is well placed to leverage the massive data opportunity on the continent.”

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