Johannesburg - African News Agency (ANA), the continent’s first content syndication service and social media platform for text, pictures, and videos, has raised $80 million (R1.04 billion) from China, the US and the Middle East.
With this investment, ANA has in total raised $165 million since its inception.
In 2015, the entity raised $30 million and, last year, $55 million.
The total placing has resulted in 15 percent of the shareholding now held by international investors, and 85 percent of shares belonging to the Sekunjalo Group.
ANA president Professor Arthur Mutambara said he was delighted at the third tranche of investment.
Mutambara said the investment was a sign of confidence, firstly in an African company, but mostly in the technology platforms which led to ANA exceeding its first milestone three months ago of reaching one billion users.
He said he would use the capital to further the technology platforms and to integrate both business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer.
“Technology is the great equaliser. The ANA multimedia technology platform will revolutionise the way Africans communicate among themselves, rebrand the continent, and ignite economic development,” Mutambara said, adding that the capital would also enhance engagement in social media platforms such as Facebook and to ensure it became the global primary provider for the African content by 2020.
ANA is headquartered in South Africa with ownership structures in Mauritius and Switzerland for global expansion. It is also planning to set up commercial media bureaus in New York, London, Shanghai and Dubai, allowing it to continue penetrating global audiences, and furthering its strategy to becoming the go-to source for news, information and data about Africa.
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Mutambara said ANA would make an announcement about a platform developed in Africa at the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban in May.
ANA chief executive Grant Fredericks said the agency had achieved its second strategic milestone, enabling technology-driven social media platforms for text, pictures and videos.
“This is an exciting future for ANA and technology in Africa as social media platforms are currently dominated by Facebook and others,” Fredericks said.