Snapchat has selected South African social media startup Hashtag Our Stories to be part of its inaugural startup accelerator, giving the 11-month old company $150,000 (or roughly R2.2 million) in funding, Techcrunch reported.
Hashtag Our Stories, founded by former journalist Yusuf Omar and his wife Sumaiya, is a network of mobile journalists reporting from over seven countries, creating video content optimised for Facebook.
“We are mojo’s: we are mobile journalists; we are selfie journalists; we are jeans journalists. Everything I need to tell a story fits in my pockets,” Omar previously told Business Insider South Africa.
“I am fast, I am nimble, I am light – and most importantly I am intimate.”
Yusuf and his wife Sumaiya will move to Snapchat’s headquarters in Los Angeles where they will join eight other startups in Snapchat’s accelerator called Yellow.
It is anticipated that Hashtag Our Stories could help fill up Snapchat’s Snap Map with citizen news broadcasters.
The other startups include augmented reality, lifestyle brands around weddings and fashion, as well as aesthetic-focused marketplaces like ConBody, which pairs people with a muscular ex-convict for workouts.
Snapchat’s investment gives the struggling social media network, which lost three million users in its last quarter, a stake of between 7% and 10% in each one of the startups.
Yellow describes itself as “a launchpad for creative minds and entrepreneurs who are looking to build the next generation of great media companies”.
“We are excited about the future of storytelling and the creators who will push the artistic boundaries of what’s possible with mobile content,” the incubator said on its website.