According to recent reports, it was disclosed that 7 Nigerian start-ups in the tech space raised combined cash of $343 million in the first three months of this year. These African start-ups had an extraordinary year last year, after they raised about $5 billion, surpassing the record of the previous year of $4.3 billion. Nigeria happens to be the biggest beneficiary of seed rounds and other venture capital secured on the continent last year.
With about 3 out of 5 Nigerian-based start-ups being fintech companies, the country has in recent times witnessed the explosion of tech start-ups which has provided so many solutions to problems, and has provided a lot of youths the opportunity to establish businesses. Even though the nation has been ravaged by so many problems ranging from corruption to insecurity, the tech sector seems to be standing out with positive news.
A lot of these start-ups have attracted foreign investors which have, however, boosted the country’s economy. These tech start-ups have recorded some groundbreaking achievements, where they successfully facilitated online transactions in key African economies, as well as getting validation/partnership with global payment giants. An example is the partnership between Nigerian financial technology platform Flutterwave, with the global payment system PayPal to make it easier for African businesses to accept and make payments.
Nigeria is gradually becoming a major tech hub in terms of start-ups generation and entrepreneurs preferred location for launching new projects. Just recently, the country witnessed a remarkable achievement where American multinational technology company, Microsoft opened its first $100 million African Development center in Lagos Nigeria. With so many success stories recorded in the country’s fintech ecosystem, Nigerian tech start-ups have gained a strong foothold in the world of e-commerce.
Last year, according to reports, of the 20 tech start-ups selected across Africa as its top challenger brands, 14 of them were from Nigeria, with the top 10 on the list, comprising almost exclusively of Nigerian start-ups. The top brands were chosen based on three criteria, which are; Ingenious storytelling, Brand Tribe, and Brand Experience.
Ingenious Storytelling: This deals with how well the brands tell their stories and stay human in a digitally-driven society while being consistent with their brand narrative.
Brand Tribe: This deals with how the brands can top into social realities, to inspire and fuel community spirit as well as the conversion of customers to fans.
Brand Experience: This deals with the quality of their visual and verbal expressions across online and offline touchpoints, from their website to mobile apps and social media.
The African region is known to be the home of four fintech unicorns doing exceptionally well globally which are all Nigerian tech start-ups. They are Interswitch, Flutterwave, Andela, and Opay who have all achieved valuations of over $1bn. More spectacular news will be heard in Nigeria’s tech sector because a lot of young Nigerians are joining global companies which has also led a lot of them to start their ventures.
Also, there has been the establishment of coding boot camps that have dotted the country where young Nigerians are being trained in technology which will therefore give rise to more tech start-ups in the country.