Wednesday, February 27th marked exactly four years since BHM Group Founder, Ayeni Adekunle announced the birth of Info Digital Africa Limited (ID Africa), a creative marketing communications and digital media company. The mission then was, and still is to build a business that uses smart thinking, compelling content, and technology to help brands, organisations, governments and individuals connect with those they care about.
You see, I joined a fledgling digital media unit of BHM (the PR agency) in February of 2014, back when most PR companies still had little or no clue on how to handle digital content and social media marketing. I resumed at BHM the very next Monday after the Friday I left my banking job of 6 years. I left behind a comfortable, relatively good and steady pay, with all that stability, to pursue a passion for marketing, comms and digital media. And yes, I had to take a significant pay cut!
But since February 2015, when Prince Ehima, Yinka Olayokun and myself, were dragged by ATG from our comfy little office to start the ID Africa business, our dear little outfit has managed to execute over 150 campaigns for various organisations, brands and businesses. In 48 months, we’ve created over 20,000 hours of video content, amassed over 15 million video views on 5 digital channels, and average year-on-year revenue growth of over 40%.
In that time as well, we’ve been privileged to have had over 50 young professionals pass through our world as core team members at one time or the other, alongside hundreds of freelancers and vendors. These are the designers, video editors, copywriters, developers, social media gurus, PR experts, growth hackers, pop culture curators and marketing strategists who helped creative the magic and ‘abracadabra’ that we are now known for.
Today, as we celebrate our 4th year of existence, I am delighted to also announce a major investment that we are making as a company to further prepare us for a more exciting and successful future. And that is the acquisition of NET News Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading digital publishing and media brands.
NET News Limited was founded in 2009, as an entertainment publishing business that produced Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET), the country’s first entertainment-only weekly print newspaper, which was rested in 2016. In 2009, NET also launched thenetng website, which till date is a top 5 entertainment news content provider in Nigeria with over 1.5 million users across all channels, and a monthly reach of over 2.5 million on web and social.
Today, NET News Limited is also home to NECLive, Nigeria’s largest annual gathering of creative industry professionals since 2013, NETshop (e-commerce), 234Star (lifestyle), Neusroom (metro and community news) and Orin (music).
For NET, ID Africa provides a much needed marketing and technology support which offers the media business an opportunity for accelerated growth and operational efficiency in today’s clime. This is in light of the current struggles facing digital and media industry worldwide, with shocking layoffs at highfliers like Buzzfeed, Huffpost and others, as advertising revenues dry up and media companies fail to figure out sustainable business models for this age and time where Facebook and Google control much of everything.
Beyond this marriage with NET, ID Africa is also making some strategic investments in technology skills and capabilities, as we put together a team of world class developers, designers and product managers who will help us build and deliver great consumer products that will solve real problems for people in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
We believe strongly that with these steps, ID Africa, which was only a tiny idea forming in Ayeni’s mind back when I joined BHM Group is now better positioned to take on giants (and slay dragons) across Africa. Add the fact that Nigerians with some form of internet access crossed 100 million in 2018, while almost 50% of the population is expected gain access to the net in 2019, thus providing exciting new opportunities for a business like ours.
With smart thinking, hard work, good luck and Godspeed, we plan to deliver the founders’ vision of building a profitable business that provides creative marketing communications, world class technology solutions, successful consumer products and irresistible media content to both everyday people and the biggest corporations across Nigeria, Africa and globally.
This is a marathon, and we’re super excited to run the race.