Mansa Black Culture AVOD Service Launches After Raising $8 Million

(Image credit: Mansa)

Mansa, a free ad-supported streaming video on demand service for global Black culture started by a group of filmmakers and actors, launched after raising $8 million in seed funding

Among Mansa’s founders are David Oyelowo, Nate Parker and Chiké Okonkwo, along with tech entrepreneur and film financier Zak Tanjeloff,

The service had a beta run over the last few months.

“Our user acquisition, view time, and retention data is already well ahead of expectations and ahead of other incumbents in the space,” says Tanjeloff.

Mansa said it’s core belief is “that Black culture is pop culture, and by authentically curating the best in Black culture, it will attract not only Black audiences, but broad mass market audiences as well. Mansa separates itself from other platforms by offering a level of transparency unique to the industry including true ownership and equity for the creators of Mansa Originals.”

“Mansa is creating a space for diverse narratives, perspectives, characters and creators that continue to be underrepresented,” said Erika Turner, Mansa Chief Content Officer. “I’m honored to help fill storytelling gaps for audiences still waiting to be served.”

In addition to offering films featuring global stars like Idris Elba, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Trevor Noah, Zoe Kravitz, Halle Berry, Mansa said it has a mission to identify, surface and cultivate Black talent from around the world alongside them.

“We aim to change the paradigm around creator fairness, solving to address long felt challenges in the industry through addressing, ownership, transparency and community on a foundational level,” said Oyelowo. “Mansa is diligently looking for content creators and companies within entertainment to work with, building a centralized hub where all can thrive together. To this point, that is something the establishment has been reluctant to do as a matter of practice. We will be announcing some very exciting partnerships and shows very soon.”

The seed round funding was lead by MaC Venture Capital, with additional funding from WndrCo, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Investment Partners, Base Ventures, Dubin & Co., Rainmaker Films and Robert F. Smith.

Other investors include former NBA star and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital VC, James Norman, CEO of Pilotly and Managing Partner of Black Operator Ventures, and Wemimo Abbey, Co-Founder of the Softbank backed unicorn, Esusu.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.