Tech startup

Nigeria Tech Startup Ecosystem: Key Players and Success Stories

by Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo

The Nigerian tech startup ecosystem is on the move. This is due to the emergence of different tech startups across the country, placing her amongst the top African countries with the most tech startups. The startup ecosystem in Nigeria is a leading hub for entrepreneurship with a growing number of international investors and active companies. 

Over the years, the tech ecosystem has witnessed accelerated growth in technological innovations with multiple startup companies emerging in various sectors like fintech, health, agriculture, logistics and many others.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the key players in the tech startup industry and their success stories.

From Tech Startups to Big Companies: A Highlight of 8 Successful Tech Companies in Nigeria

The tech ecosystem is what it is today because of tech-savvy, innovative trailblazers and certain key players who have contributed to building their startups. Let’s take a look at some of these successful tech startups in Nigeria:

  1. Flutterwave

Flutterwave is a fintech company that provides a payment platform for merchants and service providers across the internet. The company was founded by Olugbenga Agboola, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Adeleke Adekoya in 2016. The headquarters is in San Francisco, California with operations in Nigeria and other African countries. 

With Flutterwave, you can send money online to loved ones, sell online as a small business and even build financial products as a startup. The possibilities that Flutterwave offers have caused a dynamic shift in business transactions across Africa. The challenges of payment processing in Africa birthed Flutterwave. 

Mr Olugbenga and his co-founders decided to set up a tech startup that could help businesses make and receive payments across borders. Currently, Flutterwave is Africa’s most valued startup company.

  1. Kuda

Kuda Technologies is another fintech startup company that started its operations in 2019. Its debut into the banking industry as the “bank of the free”  was a milestone for Nigeria’s virtual banking system. “Kudimoney” now known as “Kuda Bank” is a virtual bank founded by Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha.

In just 5 years of the company’s launch, Kuda Bank has gone from an online savings platform to having millions of customers across the country. Kuda Bank is licensed with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and has grown to become Nigeria’s biggest microfinance bank.

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  1. Piggyvest

Originally known as “Piggy Bank,” this startup company initially offered an online savings platform from its launch in 2016. In 2019,  it expanded to offer investment opportunities to its users whilst rebranding from piggy bank to “Piggyvest.” It is now an automated savings platform that enables users to save money daily, weekly or monthly according to their preferences and provides them with the opportunity to earn interest on their savings.

From having only 700 users in its first year to garnering millions of users in the coming years, no one would believe that Piggyvest started from a group chat where Odunayo Eweniyi, Somto Ifezue and Joshua Chibueze decided to digitalize the Nigerian culture of using “kolo” to save.

  1. Helium health

This tech startup delved into the health sector to provide digital tools to facilitate empowering and financing healthcare providers, working with leading global health organizations. Since the company’s launch in 2016, they have strived to digitize healthcare across Africa. 

They provide personalized and reliable products that emphasize patient care and customer satisfaction. Helium Health is determined to provide technological insight for Africa’s ailing healthcare system. The company was founded by Goke Olubisi, Dimeji Sofowara and Ralph Oluwole through their drive and commitment to elevate Africa’s healthcare delivery.

  1. Farmcrowdy

Farmcrowdy Limited is a tech startup in the agricultural sector with a digital marketplace to sell agricultural produce. The market offers consumers a wide range of agricultural commodities. Farmcrowdy aims to build a sustainable solution to agricultural problems through technology by supplying food produce to businesses in the most hygienic form. 

This company also helps to connect small-scale farmers to investors to boost food production in the country. The startup is a first of its kind in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, providing agronomic analysis through technology.

Focusing on providing long-lasting solutions to the food value chain in Nigeria, this agritech company was founded by Onyeka Akumah and his co-founders Ifeanyi Anazodo, Christopher Abiodun, Akindele Phillips and Temitope Omotolani.

  1. Sabi

Sabi is another fintech startup breaking milestones in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, particularly in the commerce sector. It provides a platform that helps agents, merchants, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers to grow their businesses using Sabi’s technological rails. 

It helps businesses to optimize supply chains for diverse market needs. Sabi also provides inventory and commodity finance enabling their users to easily grow their businesses. Anu Adedoyin Adasolum and Ademola Adesina through their commerce startup have created one of Africa’s largest B2B digital markets.

  1. Jumia

Jumia Technologies is a tech company built around having a digital marketplace for both sellers and consumers, facilitating seamless virtual transactions.  It was launched into the commerce sector as an e-commerce platform for purchasers, vendors and payment of services. 

The platform was founded in 2012 in Lagos by Jeremy Hodara, Sacha Poignonnec, Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Kofi Afaedor. From an online shopping website, Jumia launched its hotel booking platform – Jumia Travel and its food delivery service – Jumia Foods, both in 2013.

Subsequently, in 2017, Jumia launched Jumia Pay to help ease payment methods for users when shopping on Jumia’s various platforms. Jumia has become the giant of e-commerce not just in Nigeria but in several African countries partnering with millions of vendors and service providers across the continent. 

  1. Max

Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh entered the world of tech entrepreneurship with Max in 2015. Max evolved from a logistics tech startup to a service platform for financial services, transport operators and drivers across Africa. Max is building the largest vehicle subscription platform for drivers across the continent. 

It enables drivers with no banking history to access vehicle insurance, digital wallets and e-hailing services on a subscription basis. Born out of the need to tackle mobility and logistics challenges in Africa, Max went from just 20 motorcycles to a fleet of over a thousand in just 2 years.

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Conclusion 

Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem is proof of the country’s entrepreneurial drive. Our vibrant and dynamic tech ecosystem is fueled by a young, tech-savvy generation. Like every other ecosystem, the tech ecosystem in Nigeria continues to evolve with more groundbreaking innovations and ideas, paving the way for future tech startups in the country. 

Our ability to leverage technology as a nation has made us a global hub of entrepreneurship, investments and innovations. In the coming years, we hope to witness and achieve more milestones in tech whilst fostering collaboration and inclusion.

Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

About Author

Avatar of Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo
Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo
Chovwe is content writer and a Fashion Designer. She's also a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator. She's an advocate for peace and loves art. She owns a fashion brand and is very passionate about what she does.

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