Ghafla founder and CEO Sam Majani will be at the firm he founded for a longer time as the firm transitions into a regional general news player from its former entertainment and gossip site.
Now based at Ringier Kenya’s offices, Majani says he has no urgent plans to start anything else or invest in another startup.
“My current full-focus priority is to continue as Ghafla’s CEO and oversee this exciting transition in the company’s history,” Majani told TechMoran. ”A long term agreement has been signed as part of this new partnership, so I will be leading Ghafla for some time to come.”
Ringier acquired Ghafla in all cash deal for some Ksh 60m and the 180+ year old global publisher is planning to build new audiences in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia to make Ghafla one of the most influential media platforms in East Africa.
Majani says during the transition, Ghafla will retain many of the core elements that have made it into the popular website it is today. However, having a broader scope of content on Ghafla will be absolutely key in growing the platform even further from where it currently is.
”Ringier are undeniable leaders in developing amazing content strategies that drive user growth. They’ve proved this twice before in Nigeria and Ghana, through their Pulse platforms, by engaging new audiences via news and political affairs reporting, disseminating content far and wide via proactive social media campaigns and by producing innovative video content that really capture people’s imaginations,” he told TechMoran.
Not wanting to divulge what exactly the deal entailed, Majani says the deal with Ringier is good news for other platforms in the region. He says, hopefully there will be a ripple effect for others to use this as a platform to grow.
Ringier Africa GM, Leonard Stiegeler adds that Ringier’s deal with Ghafla is a great fit into Ringier Africa’s overall strategy to build out leading digital businesses throughout the continent in four key verticals: content, classifieds, e-commerce and digital marketing.
He says Ghafla also expected to benefit from Ringier’s 180+ years of experience and knowledge in the media industry, to become a leading East African online news platform and media publisher as well as to bring new exciting products and offerings to its existing and new advertising clients.
“Ghafla will benefit from being part of a leading pan-African digital media group and able to tap into connections from across the continent,” said Stiegeler.
Though expanding to Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia over time, Kenya continues to be a primary focus for Ghafla and Majani is not going on holiday yet.
”I’ve decided to be laser focused on Ghafla as the flagship platform and therefore, I’ve retired the other websites,” Majani told TechMoran. “I am very proud that Ghafla, which started in a Kenyan bedroom seven years ago, is now partnering with one of the largest African media enterprises. This partnership will give us access to international know-how and will ensure that we can learn from and apply the global expertise that the Ringier team brings with it.
Tim Kollmann, Ringier’s Managing Director says Ringier will work with the Ghafla team to set up new standards in the regional media space, offering up-to-date information at any time of the day, directly to East Africa’s media consumption tool of choice; the mobile phone.