Nigerian digital publisher Okada Books shuts down after 10 years
Okada Books, Nigeria's pioneering digital publishing and bookselling platform, is set to shut down on November 30, citing challenging macroeconomic conditions. CEO Okechukwu Ofili said in a statement on social media platform X that despite exploring various options to keep the virtual bookshelves active, the challenges faced by the company are insurmountable.
Launched in 2013, Okada Books aimed to simplify book distribution and sales in Nigeria. The platform provided a means for Nigerian writers to engage in self-publishing, making the process more accessible and affordable.
Through its Android application and online platform, authors could directly share their books with readers and earn from their work. Okada Books operated on a business model where the platform took a 30% commission on every sale. The average book on the platform was priced between N250 ($0.31) – N500 ($0.62), with variations depending on the author's choices.
Points clés à retenir
Okada Books was part of the 12 startups selected for Google's Launchpad Accelerator Africa in 2017. The digital publishing platform claimed to host a library of over 40,000 original books and had 400,000 registered readers. With its impending shutdown, writers who utilized the platform to monetize their works will now need to seek alternative platforms. The closure of Okada Books adds to recent challenges faced by African startups in a somewhat unstable macroeconomic market. Notably, Zazuu, a fintech marketplace for cross-border payment networks in Africa that had raised over $2 million from investors, recently shut down due to difficulties in securing additional funding. These instances highlight the ongoing financial challenges and fundraising difficulties faced by some startups in the African tech ecosystem.