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Nate Parker, David Oyelowo-led streaming service raises $8M seed round

Tim Baysinger
Apr 18, 2023

Nate Parker and David Oyelowo. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage

Mansa, a free streaming service aimed at global Black culture, has closed an $8 million seed round to support its launch out of stealth on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Free advertising-supported streaming is one of the fastest-growing subsets of the streaming industry and is expected to become a $260 billion industry by 2025, according to Omdia.

Details: The funding round was led by MaC Venture Capital with participation from Vista Equity's Robert Smith, WndrCo Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital.

  • Mansa was founded by filmmakers and actors Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Chiké Okonkwo and film financier Zak Tanjeloff, who has worked with Parker for 15 years.
  • The service has been operating in stealth for the past year.
  • Mansa has licensed over 1,500 hours of content for more than 50 different content suppliers. Toward the second half of the year, Mansa will start to roll out original programming.

Of note: Tanjeloff says that employees and every one of their original creators will get equity in the company.

The intrigue: This is Katzenberg's first streaming play since the ill-fated Quibi launched in the early days of the pandemic and shut down seven months later.

The big picture: Black audiences make up 40% of viewing time on the current AVOD leaders PlutoTV and Tubi, Mansa says. But the two streaming services are geared toward broader audiences.

  • "They're not super-serving this audience and, in fact, they don't want to," Tanjeloff says. "They accidentally stumbled into this audience."

What's next: The service plans to roll out to Nigeria as its first international territory later this year, with further launches planned in the U.K. and South Africa.

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