Mariblock restarts operations following a two-month hiatus

The company, which ran almost entirely out of the lead editor’s savings, defaulted on salaries and suspended operations temporarily while seeking funding.

Mariblock restarts operations following a two-month hiatus
Source: Mariblock

Africa-focused blockchain information company Mariblock has resumed operations after being forced to suspend operations in February due to financial challenges. 

Dive deeper 

  • Mariblock’s lead editor, Oluwaseun Adeyanju, attributed these problems to a lack of capital to run the company, especially since Mariblock, up until it closed, was funded almost entirely out of his pocket. 
“We ran out of cash. Since we launched in 2022, we have been operating primarily from my personal savings. As with every business, when you run out of cash, you die.” 
  • According to him, in its early years, the company sought to build credibility and authority before focusing on generating revenue. 
  • While he believes that the company has built its credibility in the African blockchain information space, he found running the company out of pocket unsustainable. 
“When we launched, our primary goal was establishing credibility before chasing money. ... The mistake we made was, as a company, we focused too much on producing content and building credibility at the expense of cash flow.” 
  • Mariblock has, since its launch in 2022, published several articles read by builders in the African blockchain space. It has been cited by leading global publications such as Blockworks and Cointelegraph and has received exclusive coverage by the Reuters Institute of Journalism
  • However, the lack of revenue caused the company to default on salaries and close temporarily. In the process, the company lost some of its key team members, who are still owed salaries. It has since contacted its ex-employees about payment plans for wages owed. 

Now 

  • In the interim, Mariblock has secured some bridge financing to support its operations till the end of the year while it shifts focus to generating revenue and operating sustainably. 
  • Adeyanju said the company has now resumed its operations as it seeks to ramp up the production of Africa-focused blockchain content and earn income while at it. 
“Our resumption is hinged on getting back to being productive and doing the good work that we have always done and more, [generating] revenue ... and sustainability.” 
  • According to Adeyanju, the company wants to be so self-sustaining that it will not need investment in the future to cover its running costs but only to expand. 

What next? 

  • Upon its resumption, Mariblock is looking to redefine its focus to tell stories that are expected to be more impactful. 
“What you [can expect] to see from Mariblock going forward from here is a refocus of our editorial practice, telling stories of higher impact ... and doing more original reporting [more than regular news analysis of what is happening].” 
  • Adeyanju added that the company’s insight team will build on its success last year and focus on producing more data-driven and expert-based deeper analyses of the African blockchain market. 
  • Mariblock is well-placed as a vital component of the blockchain ecosystem’s growth and increased adoption in Africa, Adeyanju believes. 
“For any industry to advance, you need developers and builders/innovators, but I think there is an important information stack that’s needed, too, and that is where Mariblock stands—the information gap—with the research we will produce going forward.” 
  • In addition, the company is looking to host several blockchain events, including the Mariblock Roundtable, which is expected to debut before the end of the year.

Editor’s note: This story was edited lightly by Oluwaseun Adeyanju for style and flow. The content of the story itself wasn’t altered.