African tech blog, HumanIPO, calls it a day

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HumanIPO

After almost 4 years of publishing the tech blog that is HumanIPO, the Capetown based startup announced yesterday that they are shutting it down. The reason: no sufficient amount of traffic to make it an interesting business to continue. Essentially, they couldn’t monetize the blog adequately, or at least just couldn’t sell enough of their product. Product in the world of blogging means advertising, sponsorship, selling subscriptions or selling events (attendance tickets and sponsorship).

The full announcement:

Africa’s tech news site will be publishing its last story on Thursday, January 15th. We want to thank the thousands of readers that use the site weekly for their support. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to build sufficient amount of traffic to make it an interesting business to continue. If there are investors or entrepreneurs that are interested in taking over the platform then please contact us on [email protected]

The writing was somewhat on the wall as two key members of the editorial team, Tom Jackson and Gabriella Mulligan, left last year to start their own tech blog startup which publishes content somewhat similar to HumanIPO’s. They may have read the writing.

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So yes, whoever wants to buy the domain and the traffic it gets right now and turn it around, is welcome to contact them. As you many know HumanIPO is owned by the 88mph accelerator whose investment activities and startups were reported heavily by the tech blog.

HumanIPO’s method, at least looking at it from outside, was to blog rapidly about anything tech in sub-saharan Africa. Sub Saharan Africa is a big place, and to cater for that the blog had reporters in the 3 most active markets for startups on the continent: Cape Town (South Africa), Kenya and Nigeria.

HumanIPO was actually more than just a blog. They have a startup social network platform of sorts where startups can post about their company, founders and (I think) connect with other founders. They also had a shop that used to sell gadgets but shut down some time last year.

HumanIPO are not the first Cape Town based media startup to find the going tough on the wider African internet. Umuntu Media, a one million dollar funded venture which operated news sites in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Botswana threw in the towel last year for reasons similar to HumanIPO’s.



10 Comments

  1. [email protected] says:

    So… TechZim, how are going to avert such an end?

    As for Umuntu and their iCountry offerings… I never expected it to do well at all. They spread themselves too thin and aggregated already existing content from local news service providers. It was only a matter of time before their market share shrunk. From the Zim standpoint, Zimpaper-operated and Private media sites brought more interactivity and less over moderating. It worked well for them. Even just to vent, people seem to consume alot of local News content

    1. So… TechZim, how are going to avert such an end?

      We don’t believe we have such an end to avert… 🙂

      1. Nigel says:

        I love that response!! but given the domestic market conditions which are way more difficult than in Cape Town or South Africa in general.

        1. Very true on local being harsh! But not basis for concluding that that a media company whose base is Zimbabwe is headed for shutdown.

      2. [email protected] says:

        Read as….” we’re doing very well”

        🙂
        As long as u have it figured.

      3. zaniest says:

        Hahahha, kabwezza u are something else!!!

  2. Sam says:

    Another prominent tech blog shut down late last year in the same region (can’t remember the name) citing similar reasons. Then down south there was the sad winding down of PC Format as well. Hmm.

    1. Anonymous 2 says:

      Is that what happened? All this time I thought someone at Munn Marketing was sabotaging us! I guess any volume driven tech business, print or online, is in for a challenge in Africa, even if it is quality stuff.

  3. Frank says:

    I discovered that tech blogs are saturated and they seem to be easy to open. However I think there are other niche markets that are looking for blogs yo market their stuff from but can’t find any.

    1. Marcus says:

      What niche do you think Africans are interested asides Tech, Music & Entertainment blogs. I doubt there is any.

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