Business

Meet 6 CEOs of Filmtech startups in Nigeria’s $6.4 billion movie industry

The Nigerian movie industry, ranked as the second fastest-growing film sector globally after Hollywood, has become the cynosure of Africa’s storytelling village. With substantial investments from industry giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, Nollywood is on a trajectory of unprecedented growth.

Over the past three years, Nigeria’s box office has generated a cumulative revenue of N19 billion. Despite this impressive figure, the industry has many long battles especially for an industry worth $6.4 billion and continually growing, from getting the right talent to sourcing production locations to finance.

However, as the industry navigates these hurdles, several CEOs are making significant contributions towards sustainable development. They are leveraging technology to bridge these gaps in an industry plagued by many infrastructural problems.

Nairametrics highlights some of Nigeria’s filmtech startups that are disrupting the $6.4 billion Nollywood industry and driving its transformation through local solutions.


Soji Ogunnaike-Co founder Rushing Tap

Soji Ogunnaike has carved a niche for himself in the media industry with a career spanning over two decades.

Before co-founding Rushing Tap, Soji served as the MD/CEO of 601 Realtime Ltd from January 2006 to July 2015. For nine years and seven months, he guided the company with vision and effective management, achieving significant milestones in media production.

Soji’s media journey began even earlier. From March 2002 to April 2004, he worked as a Senior Editor and Animator at Eastend Audioviz, where he was responsible for editing episodic TV content and delivering it to TV stations.

Soji holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics/Electronics from the University of Lagos.

Rushing Tap founded in 2014, entertains Africans worldwide by creating and producing original content, which it then licenses to distributors, with the vision of becoming the largest owner of original African content. It debuted with its first drama series, Plus 234, serving as a proof of concept for its licensing business model.

In 2020, Rushing Tap and POV Studios, an entertainment investment company, announced a multi-million dollar partnership aimed at establishing a world-class entertainment production outfit in Nigeria. This collaboration led to the creation of Rushing Tap Studios, a state-of-the-art facility in the Lekki-Ajah area of Lagos State. The company is backed by serial investor Olumide Soyombo, who has invested over £1 million in its growth and development.


Chidinma Igbokweuche-Founder Nollydata

Chidinma Igbokweuche is a screen writer, producer and filmmaker who founded Nollydata alongside Ibrahim Suleiman, a notable actor in 2022.

Nollydata was founded on the strength of recognizing the need for an organized database within Nollywood, she launched this platform to serve as a central repository for information on films, actors, producers, and other key industry players. The initiative not only addresses a critical gap in the industry but also enhances its global visibility and accessibility.

Chidinma started out as a Web Content Writer for Linda Ikeji TV from November 2017 to August 2018. Prior to this, she contributed to lailasblog.com. However,  her big break came with a Creative producer role at AccelerateTV, from February 2019 to March 2021.  During her time there she produced shows such as, Shade Corner, The Olive* web series, Yellow Wall, and others.


 Julie Ako – CEO Albantsho

Albantsho CEO, Julie Ako is a filmmaker, project manager, and information systems specialist on a mission to reshape the narrative of Africa through the power of storytelling. With an academic background in computer science and a higher diploma in film and television studies, Julie bridges the worlds of technology and cinema seamlessly.

Julie’s career began with an internship as a Datacenter Operator at Galaxy Backbone in Abuja, Nigeria, where she gained valuable insights into data management and IT infrastructure. Following this, she served as a Senior Project Coordinator at Mad Comics NG, an Afrocentric comic company, from December 2016 to July 2018.

She has directed, and collaborated on several high-profile projects, including the Verified campaign PSA for the United Nations, the Jay Jay Animations series for Showmax, and various documentary productions with Cinema Kpatakpata.

In 2020, Julie co-founded Albansto with Nikita Mokgware from Botswana. Albansto is a platform that brings together black Africans to explore and narrate the multifaceted stories of the continent. Functioning as a digital marketplace, it allows writers to share their work, producers to acquire content, and talent to connect with opportunities.


Victoria Popoola- Co founder Talent X Africa

Victoria Popoola is a finance professional with a background in venture capital and data analytics.

In October 2021, Victoria co-founded TalentX Africa, a full-time venture focused on talent exchange and infrastructure. TalentX has invested close to $1 million in Nollywood movies, highlighting its commitment to fostering the film industry in Nigeria.

Since July 2020, Victoria has served as an Investment Professional at Consonance Investment Managers. Victoria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics University of Lagos


 Akinsola Muse – Cofounder Filmlocations Nigeria

Akinsola Muse is a distinguished film director, producer, and creative force in the media industry with over a decade of experience. Since April 2011, he has been a key figure at 1705 Productions LTD in Royal Oak, Michigan, directing and producing over 13 commercials for brands like MTN, Airtel, Unilever, Samsung, Knorr, and Audi. His compelling visual narratives resonate globally. In October 2008, he founded The Zwart Company, serving as Creative Director and leading innovative content development across Lagos, Nigeria, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Akinsola studied Film & Video Production at the Motion Pictures Institute of Michigan and holds a BA in History & Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos, where he was active in entertainment and event management.

In 2016, he founded Filmlocations alongside co founder Akinwale Muse-when he had just finished a very intense TV commercial production for a client.


Eric Kafui Okyerefo  – CEO of Filmmakers Mart

Eric is the Co-Founder and CEO of Filmmakers Mart, Africa’s first marketplace for the film, entertainment industry to transform how creatives on the continent create and to democratize entry into the film/entertainment.

With a proven track record as a producer, Eric has delivered high-quality content for the British Council and Showmax. His work earned him a nomination for the prestigious African Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2022, highlighting his significant contributions to the industry.

Eric’s commitment extends beyond individual achievements. He focuses on building a robust operational system to enhance Africa’s entertainment landscape and support businesses within the sector. Simultaneously, he actively nurtures emerging talent, contributing to the industry’s growth and sustainability.

Before Filmmakers Mart, Eric founded The International Clarion, a media organization aimed at giving young people a global digital voice. He collaborated with a diverse team of journalists and content creators to cover stories often overlooked by mainstream media, emphasizing youth perspectives worldwide.

Eric co-founded the company in 2021, alonsgide Chioma Dike, Victor Tobi Awotidebe, and Igho Avusi Avuiroeviere. Filmmakers Mart streamlines the booking of essential services for video productions.


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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