OMG Digital, the Ghana-based media startup known as the “BuzzFeed of Africa,” has raised $1.1 million in seed funding. Its main website, OMG Voice has versions for Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. The new capital will be used to expand into more countries.
Launched by Jesse Arhin Ghansah, Prince Boakye Boampong, and Dominic Mensah in February 2016, OMG Voice now claims 4.5 million unique visitors each month. OMG Digital has a team of 25 employees and plans to launch sites for South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania. The money that was raised will be used to support its expansion, produce more video content and grow its advertising and marketing departments.
“It was really frustrating for us because we would go online and all the content was just boring news and politics and stuff. So we wanted to create something for people like us, with listicles and lightweight content. Smartphones started to take off and Facebook became super popular as well, and that’s why we started OMG,” said Jesse Arhin Ghansah, co-founder, OMG Digital.
Ghansah and his co-founders started OMG Ghana in 2012 when they were in college. It was the time when smartphones were becoming more popular, but Ghansah had a hard time finding interesting things to read.
Though most things can be shared between the sites and every country’s version of OMG Voice has a lot of tailor-made content. “There are a lot of cultural nuances and differences, but in some countries, there are some similarities,” said Ghansah. “Like Ghana and Nigeria are close in terms of culture, so it’s easy to create content for both of them. Kenyans and Tanzanians have similar cultures as well, so we are trying to tackle [expansion] just by going into the countries we are already in and finding the next closest market in terms of culture.”
The company will begin with English-speaking markets. Then they will branch out into French and other languages, with the goal of one day being present in every African country. OMG Voice already has a culinary vertical called ServePot, and plans to launch tech and lifestyle verticals as well. The company will also begin building an events business, with meet-ups and startup conferences.
“We want to pioneer content advertising in Africa with major brands and it’s going good so far,” said Ghansah. “Brands are starting to get it and the next two years will be huge for us.”