Home » Serena Williams’ VC firm backs Nigerian entrepreneur Preston Ideh’s Stears

Serena Williams’ VC firm backs Nigerian entrepreneur Preston Ideh’s Stears

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Serena Williams

Serena Ventures, a venture capital business owned by Serena Williams, has partnered with other institutional investors to invest $3.3 million in Stears Inc. in a recently concluded seed round led by MaC Venture Capital, one week after spearheading a $12.3-million investment in a Ugandan fintech business.

Williams commented on the investment, stating: “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.” 

Stears Inc. is a Nigerian data and insights firm established in 2017 by Nigerian professionals Preston Ideh, Michael Famoroti, Bode Ogunlana, and Abdul Abdulrahim with the aim to create the world’s most trusted source of African data and insight for global businesses, finance, and policy professionals.

To define a new standard for access to quality analysis and data in Africa, the firm provides data collection, production, advising, and analysis services.

In addition to Stears Insights, which offers subscribers analysis-driven content, Stears Data, its financial data business, offers financial, economic, and corporate data and analytics to professionals on the African market.

The $3.3 million in financing raised from Serena Ventures and other institutional investors will be used to broaden the company’s geographic reach by creating a presence in East and Southern Africa.

Ideh, co-founder and CEO of Stears Inc., added that the funds will also be used to broaden Stears’ product breadth beyond insights to data, strengthen data relationships, and collect its own proprietary data, to which it will license access.

The number of users of the company’s Insights product has increased at a rate of about 6.5 percent month over month, more than tripling over the previous year as some Stears readers rely on it as a substitute for Bloomberg News and other information services.

The business reported that its sales in the first half of 2022 exceeded those for the entire year of 2021 and that its enterprise customers now account for more than 75 percent of its overall revenue, up from 45 percent in 2021.

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