Kenya’s Epic starts news aggregation journey with major clients

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Kenyan app Epic, which allows users to view all content provided by a media house in a simple, categorised format, believes every African media house can benefit from using its solution after signing up to killer clients in Kenya.

Already in use by Nation Media Group (NMG) and Royal Media Services, standalone app Epic – initially released on the Android platform – leverages off a user’s social network recommendations to offer the best content from friends and news outlets via mobile in a paginated, fluid format.

Caesar Tuva, chief executive officer (CEO) of Create, the company behind the app, told Disrupt Africa Epic was designed to change the way users experience news.

“Our vision is to get the best content from friends and news outlets delivered to users in a beautiful user interface, scraping the content so that only the best publishers are filtered to the top,” he said.

Tuva and his team are initially targeting East African media houses, but then plans to expand across Africa.

“We believe every African media house needs this solution,” he said, adding the self-funded Epic would open up for its first funding round once it had signed up its 10th media house.

Tuva said the app capitalises on two emerging industry trends – that increasing importance of an immersive content experience, and the fact Africans are generally forced to use applications built for other markets due to a lack of quality locally.

“Our user interfaces are globally benchmarked,” he said. “User experience is rigorously tested and the code base and custom algorithms finetuned to the last digit.”

Epic is already earning revenues, both from licensing to media houses on a quarterly basis, and an advertising revenue share with the firms. Tuva says Epic’s technological abilities mean it will be able to grow revenues and scale very quickly.

“We built a custom algorithm that allows news, video and live streaming customisation by users. Our platform leverages off Microsoft Azure, Google DoubleClick and YouTube’s TrueView,” he said.

“Integrated DevOps tools, technologies, and cloud services allow us to deliver and scale business-ready media applications for every major mobile platform more easily and rapidly.”

This would be an advantage, he said, because as media houses’ business processes and requirements shift over time, digital departments often struggle to keep up with the demand for application functionality and user analytics.

“We view it as a way to revolutionise online publishing for media houses while empowering the masses to pick and choose their favourite programmes, news and channels,” Tuva said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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