Nation Media group announced on Wednesday that they have closed a deal to acquire stake in lifestyle magazine Kenyabuzz alongside it’s sister publication UgandaBuzz.
They did not disclose the important specifics on the numbers involved and cited some processes that aren’t complete for them to go public with the figure. The question on nearly everyone’s mind was why.
Let me try to collate what I know
Kenyabuzz has a primary focus of events and lifestyle and sort of acts as a guide to events happening in the country, and for some time now, Uganda as well. The magazine has curated event content over years has a lot of stories, data and information on locations and events. Kenyabuzz also has an event ticketing platform that also allows one to book movie tickets and even select seats, which is probably one of the biggest selling points of the online platform. The free monthly print newsletter is said to have a circulation of 10,000 copies.
Kenyabuzz also has an Android apps that has won awards, although as we speak I cannot find the Windows Phone version we mentioned here in a previous article, and the Android app has less than 5000 downloads. The recent reviews are anything but exciting.
At the launch, Tom Mshindi, NMG Editor in Chief called it a step for Nation Media Group at diversifying their portfolio beyond news. He mentioned that this was one of many to come.
I have since tried speaking to several individuals, from both companies, and what comes out is that NMG was interested at starting in a space that looks lucrative, and bringing KenyaBuzz into the fold is definitely cheaper than starting afresh. This is a good thing in itself, many companies have benefited by acquiring a player in the space they are interested in, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and almost every other big industry player has been there done that. With Kenyabuzz’s database of activities and entertainment spots, NMG can only develop on top of that to get to where they wish to be in the near future.
KenyaBuzz is also said to be profitable with regular customers, and the movie ticketing is well executed, at least the function part of it (the design is something else). This is done end to end from discovery to actual booking and paying for events. Building onto that and marketing it looks like something Nation Media Group would want to do, of a product that already has users, and a proof of the pudding.
Nation acquired majority stake at KenyaBuzz which was previously jointly and equally owned by Alix Grubel and another co-founder who lives in the UK. NMG now owns 51 percent of KenyaBuzz at a yet to be disclosed amount and Alix will remain to lead operations at KenyaBuzz from the Parklands Gardens office in Westlands. As far as I know, what changes is the team get access to Nation Media Group resources to scale up things under the KenyaBuzz brand.