Jason Njoku of iROKOtv and his partners Bastian Gotter and Nollywood superstar Mary Remmy-Njoku recently launched SPARK on 8th May, 2013; a $1m-backed company to support and develop aspiring Nigerian tech and Internet entrepreneurs.
Spark companies employ 130 people across the nine launched companies in Lagos, three of which have already secured second-round seed investments totaling an additional $700k from Njoku and Gotter.
We are not a fund and we are not an incubator; we are a company that builds companies. We focus on Lagos, Nigeria as the gateway to Africa. We focus on well defined and scalable revenue models. We are a collection of internet people. We are SPARKSo far, SPARK has funded 13 companies, all internet based, supplying services such as dating, property letting, hotel booking and other services....
The 13 companies include Hotels.ng, Christians.ng, Bus.com.ng, Giddimint.com.ng, Borro.com.ng, Insured.ng, ToLet.com.ng, Foto.com.ng, blink.com.ng, Healthy.com.ng and Drinks.ng
Spark’s goal is to revolutionize Nigeria’s angel investment Eco-system, focusing on the country’s Internet start-up scene.
In an official press release, Jason Njoku of iROKOtv fame says: “Every Spark company we have invested in already generates revenue which we feel is essential to the survival of any Internet start-up in Nigeria. Bastian and I were impressed with their output, as were our investors, hence we have been able to raise the sum of $2m in nine days. We expect to raise more money in the coming months to cement Spark as one of the preeminent Internet groups in Nigeria and Africa.”
Njoku and Gotter will use the $2m to expand the company’s offices, initially in Lagos, before opening Spark hubs across Nigeria. The investment will also provide further follow-on rounds of seed-investments for Spark companies.
To-date, Spark has invested in some of Nigeria’s most exciting Internet start-ups including hotel room booking site, hotels.ng the undisputed leader in hotel room booking service in Nigeria; bus.com.ng; Nigeria's number one bus ticketing website and ToLet.com.ng, who are revolutionizing the customer facing lettings space in Nigeria.
Bastian Gotter, Spark Managing partner adds: “Spark companies now have the capital behind them to invest in technology, good staff, building out their inventory – whatever is required to make them into a stronger long-term business. Jason and I have previously been vocal on the shortcomings of Nigeria’s business eco-system and how investment does not reach the right people. With this additional investment of $2Mn, we are now able to channel even more funds to the companies who will one day lead the continent’s Internet space.”
Mary Remmy-Njoku says: Three years ago, no-one thought to come online to watch Nollywood movies and now, it is an every day occurrence for millions of people around the world and in Nigeria. People log in to www.irokotv.com and they have instant access to Mercy Johnson, Majid Michel, Mama G….. whoever is their favourite star. They have iROKOtv as their first port of call for their Nollywood movies.
“The same is going to happen for these SPARK companies; people who are interested in fashion will go online to Giddimint to buy a cool t-shirt, to Hotels.Ng to book a hotel room or to Drinks.ng to order good priced drinks for a wedding or big occasion. Our SPARK companies will become an everyday part of Nigerian lives in the next few years”.
Cool stuff! Contact SPARK here.