MDIF Ventures, Media Development Investment Fund’s $1 million fund investing in young media companies with positive social impact serving audiences in countries where access to free and independent news and information is under threat, today announced its first two equity investments in Nigeria’s Dataphyte and Mozambique’s Zitamar News.
Dataphyte is a media and data analytics company that provides products and services, such as data journalism and data-driven investigations, to help the public and private sectors generate value from data and socio-economic insights.
Zitamar News is an English-language investigative news website and newsletter focused on Mozambique, which also produces audio news bulletins in several Mozambican languages to bring reliable news to under-served communities.
“We are delighted to have made our first investments in Dataphyte and Zitamar News, two highly impressive media companies that provide important services to the people of Nigeria and Mozambique,” said Bilal Randeree, MDIF’s Program Director for Africa & MENA. “We will be announcing further MDIF Ventures investments in the coming weeks, financing that will help the next generation of mission-focused media entrepreneurs build companies that are high-impact and sustainable.”
Joshua Olufemi, CEO and founder of Dataphyte, said: “This funding will assist the company to offer data analytics and information services to the corporate and development sectors, to realise its business model mix for data journalism, and support the government in its adoption of data and technology for public policy and good governance.”
“MDIF’s investment is a huge vote of confidence in Zitamar News at the end of a tumultuous year for the company and for us the founders,” said Tom Bowker, co-founder and editor of Zitamar. “This funding will allow Zitamar to hire the additional reporters and other staff it needs to expand its output and cement its role as the leading source of English-language news and analysis in Mozambique, as well as to contribute further to the Mozambican media ecosystem,” said co-founder Leigh Elston.
MDIF has previously made early-stage investments in leading independent media companies worldwide, including Scroll.in, KataData, Malaysiakini, Mic, Hashtag Our Stories, Colab, Red/Acción, Volume, and OnionDev/GramVaani. MDIF early-stage companies have reached more than 50 million people in countries such as India, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil.