Digital Media Startup Zumi Shuts Shop

By  |  November 15, 2019

The world is witnessing a paradigm shift in media from print to digital. Digital-only media companies have been hailed as the future of journalism, and the venture capitalists have been testifying it by investing 100s millions of USD in these companies.

What we see in the US, China, India is not the story in Kenya. The number of digital media platforms in Kenya have gone up significantly in number in the last 2 years: Gadgets Africa, Pulse Live Kenya, Tuko, TechWeez, AfroMaisha, among others. Even though the digital platforms have a high and an instant reach, the advertiser’s mindset is still bent towards print and traditional media. Under the digital advertisement category for advertisers, budgets are mainly targeted on FB, Instagram and Google.

Lifestyle and Fashion focussed media platform Zumi has finally shut shop after struggling to make decent revenues as well as raise capital.

Launched in 2016, Zumi had raised over USD 250K from UAE based Majlis investment and a few other investors. Founded by Ex-Rocket Internet Africa Employees William McCarren and Sabrina Dorman, Zumi was planning to pivot into an eCommerce platform as advertising revenue didn’t pick up.

The company officially announced the update on its social media pages yesterday that the company will cease operating, although the individual content producers will continue as usual.

There has been a lot of debate in Kenya around why digital media platforms are struggling to survive even when the digital wave has hit the country. And a lot has been attributed to the lack of awareness about native advertisement and performance metrics by the advertisers.

Kenya as a consumer market has been flooded with international brands for a while but how the population consumes awareness about these products still rests on traditional methods. Though it must not be ignored by the advertisers that the population is getting younger by the way and digital is the prefered medium of content consumption.

Feature image courtesy: @zumikenya via Facebook

Note: the article has been updated with the correct investors in Zumi and Chandaria Capital has been removed from the list of investors, post input from the Zumi team.

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