Serena Williams’ venture capital firm is backing Nigerian data and insights firm, Stears Inc. in a $3.3 million seed round led by MaC Venture Capital, as the company makes more ambitious plans to expand across the continent.
Stears, based in Lagos, offers data collection, production, advisory and analysis services. Its products include Stears Insights, the company’s flagship digital publication, which provides analysis-driven content to its subscribers, Bloomberg reports.
Serena Williams said of the investment:
One of the main reasons I invested in Stears is not because of my love and appreciation for Africa, but because Stears has strategically thought of how to increase the investment community on the continent.
They’re aware of the complexities and have leverage with data and technology and I truly respect what they’re doing.
Stears Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Preston Ideh said:
Our mission has always been to be the world’s most trusted provider of African data and insight…We know what we must do next: focus on making proprietary data, models, tools and forecasts directly available to our users.
It means building the most valuable database on African economies and markets. It means expanding our intelligence team into Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt. It means developing local expertise that cannot be replicated with remote offices.
To become the most trusted source of data and insights, we have to do three things that haven’t been done in Africa before; first, identify all existing sources of data; second, design a shared language to understand all the data; and third; combine these datasets to create proprietary views of the African market that don’t exist anywhere else.
Marlon Nichols, a co-founder and managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital will be joining Stears as a board member.
Data is a huge business, and I think Stears has figured out a unique process of acquiring and analyzing data, and also visualizing that data in a way that really resonates with both companies and governments.