Woodland Hills-based Mansa has pulled in $8 million of seed funding to further support its free streaming platform, which showcases Black cultural content from around the world.
“Mansa is creating a space for diverse narratives, perspectives, characters and creators that continue to be underrepresented,” Erika Turner, Mansa’s chief content officer, said in a statement. “I’m honored to help fill storytelling gaps for audiences still waiting to be served.”
It will launch in the United States in the second quarter of this year on streaming channels including Roku and Amazon FireTV. After its domestic launch, Masa plans to go international, beginning with Africa.
Mansa was founded by actors David Oyelowo, Nate Parker and Chiké Okonkwo, along with investor and entrepreneur Zak Tanjeloff. The investment comes at the end of a year-long beta run that operated in stealth, which the company said was successful. In that time, it has created a team of about 30 employees, including individuals from other streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Roku and Tubi.
“Black culture is at the forefront of global culture,” Oyelowo said in a statement. “Yet at the same time, only the tip of the iceberg has been cultivated and propagated; we’re here to showcase the true breadth and depth of it for a global audience.”
Mansa has already licensed more than 15,000 hours of content and currently has secured partnerships with more than 50 content suppliers. Available content includes films featuring large stars such as Trevor Noah and Halle Berry, but also work from “untapped” creators.
The seed funding round was led by MaC Venture Capital, based in Hollywood, with participation from Base Ventures, Dubin & Co., Galaxy Investment Partners, Rainmaker Films, Robert F. Smith and WnderCo.