Everyone wants to expand, even Kenya’s ‘X News’ the free newspaper that launched in March and influenced Mediamax’s The People to rebrand to People Daily and also have a zero cover charge in a move to gain market share just weeks after Nation Media Group Nairobi News closed shop.
X News’ parent company Xtra Publishing Limited has sold a 40% equity stake in the company to Fusion Capital to up its game, again. The cash will be used for working capital and capex support, expansion and growth.
“The future for print media is free news, and the future for media as a whole is digital web and SMS services. Companies are looking for an efficient and targeted way to promote their products and this is what Xtra will offer. The partnership with Fusion will go a long way in ensuring we realise our vision”, said Paul Marshall, CEO of Xtra Publishing Limited.
Luke Kinoti, Group Chief Executive at Fusion comments: “we are excited to have partnered with an experienced and motivated team of entrepreneurs in this unique venture, the first of its kind in the region.
Though Xtra began this free newspaper trend in Kenya, it has been too late for that as Kenya needed a free evening paper a decade ago. Other major problem is that both X News and People Daily claim to have clocked over 30,000 copies which is highly unlikely. The huge similarity between their stories and their green brand colours is so confusing people still call the new People Daily as X News. We hope no one is copy pasting the other.
Launched in March as the region’s first free newspaper X News will be supported by online and mobile services targeted at the young professional demographic. According to an IPSOS/Synovate readership survey we haven’t laid hands on, X News has secured the young, urban professional readership, providing near zero wastage for advertisers. The investment by Fusion will be utilized in advancing IT and editorial systems, and for working capital requirements. Fusion Capital operates from four East African countries; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.