Afrigator: A Killer Start-up in Africa

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR353 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
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Business Model / Business Model Innovation / Entrepreneurship
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Afrigator Internet (Pty) Ltd.
Industry : Social Media
Countries : Africa


This case is about South Africa-based social media aggregator Afrigator. Founded in 2007, Afrigator is a blog directory built specifically for African consumers to publish and use content on the Web. Using Afrigator, they can index blogs, podcasts & videocasts, news feeds, and images and discover new sites in the Afrosphere. Despite problems such as limited broadband availability and slow Internet speeds in the continent, Afrigator achieved considerable success with a steady 25% month-on-month growth rate. Within just over two years of its launch, Afrigator received international recognition and was being compared with some major social media aggregators in the world. It was also recognized as one of the most exciting web start-ups in the world.

The case discusses the advertising-based business model of Afrigator. South African brands sponsored sections on the Afrigator site which helped it in generating revenues. At Afrigator, content relevancy was dictated from a community perspective, wherein a user decided what was important. The case also highlights the features, functionality, and services offered by the social media aggregator. It then talks about the competition Afrigator had to face due to the growth of social media channels in Africa. The rise in Internet usage along with an increase in the demand for consumer generated content, led to the emergence of many social media sites in Africa. However, experts opined that with its ability to aggregate relevant content and user-friendly features, Afrigator would evolve as the preferred choice for web users in the African continent.

To increase its user base and to further develop its social media platform, Afrigator formed partnerships with other blogging platforms. It also collaborated with the US government to set up a web page on its site to showcase the work the US government was doing in Africa. To attract more visitors, Afrigator included some additional features on its site and extended its reach in each country. Its aim was to reach a wider audience and enhance user interaction by localizing the site in accordance with the preferences and cultures of a particular country. The case concludes by discussing the future plans of Afrigator and how it planned to gain market share and leverage its existing user base by making the site more useful to social media users and bloggers.


Analyze the social media scenario in the African continent.
Evaluate the business model of Afrigator.
Understand the reasons behind the initial success of Afrigator.
Identify the factors challenging the growth of the social media in the African continent.
Explore ways in which Afrigator can overcome the challenges and achieve its growth objectives.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Features 5
Business Model 6
Acquisition by Naspers 8
Competitors 8
Results 9
Partnerships 11
Outlook 12
Exhibits 13


Business model, Business model innovation, Entrepreneurship, Start-up, Advertising, Branding, Social media, Social media aggregator, Social networking, Africa, Afrigator, Adgator, Gatorpeeps

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