Startup companies in Nigeria have experienced exponential growth, especially in the tech space during the last few years. Leading this new facet are dogged entrepreneurs who are re-imagining the future of technology in Nigeria and giving foreign investors a good platform to put their money into.
What are tech startups?
Tech startups are companies that leverage on technology to bring new, innovative products and technology-driven services to the market. Their objective is usually to create a disruption to the market space or to modify existing ways of doing things using technology.
In Nigeria, tech startups have raised billions of dollars in funding in most recent times. This has led to massive growth in the sector at a very rapid speed including the general rush to own investment in these companies. These companies are raising the bar in different technology industries ranging from education, agriculture, finances, and logistic.
12 High profile Nigerian Tech startups
A remote company that sources and trains engineering talents and matches them with global employers as part of their team of software developers. Founded in 2014 by Ian Carnevale, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Jeremy Johnson, and Christina Sass.
Funding: In September 2021 Andela raised $200 million in series E funding led by Softbank’s Softbank vision fund, another $40 series C funding in 2016, $100 million series D round in 2019, and is now valued at $1.5 billion. Their investors include Generation investment management, Spark capital and Chan Zuckerberg initiative. They are also funded by CRE Venture capital, DBL Partners, TLcom capital, Amplo, and Salesforce ventures.
Operational campuses: Their offices cut across major African countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, Rwanda, and the headquarters in New York, USA. Andela has spiraled into the global market from being a startup into a unicorn company.
Since its inception, this tech giant has brought an innovative angle to companies looking to solve the problem of recruitment of skilled engineers globally. Andela has also created jobs for thousands of engineers across the globe. It has a client list that includes the likes of GitHub, Cloudflare and ViacomCBS. Their website is andela.com
An African fintech company that is fast rising with innovative solutions to facilitate banking and financial transactions. Opay was founded in 2018 by Yahui Zhou.
The company is one of the fastest-growing providers of non-merchant Point-of-Sale (POS) services and mobile money transfer services in Nigeria.
Funding: Opay is valued at $2billion after having raised $400million in a new round of financing in August 2021 led by SoftBank, a Japanese company. Prior to 2021, the company had raised $50million and $120million in two funding rounds in 2019.
Location: Nigeria and Egypt.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian Fintech company that provides a platform for secure payments for banks and businesses across countries through a single API.
It was founded by Iyinolowa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola, and Adeleke Adekoya in 2016. According to Flutterwave, it has processed close to $2 billion in payments and 25 million transactions across over 33 African countries where it is currently in operation since its inception.
Funding: In 2022, Flutterwave raised $250million series D funding round, $170 million series C funding round in 2021 from Tiger Global and Avenir, and is currently valued at over $3 billion.
Location: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and several other African countries. The headquarters is in San Francisco.
4. Kuda Bank
Kuda is Nigeria’s first mobile-only bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, according to Wikipedia. This tech startup has caused a disruption to banking services in Nigeria as we know it, by not charging bank fees.
It was founded in 2017 by Musty Mustapha and Babs Ogundeyi. By capitalizing on digital banking as its major service Kuda has secured its place in the Nigerian banking industry even as a startup enterprise.
Funding: Kuda raised $25 million Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures and $55 million series B round, valued at $500 million.
Location: London-based, operated in Nigeria
Founded in 2019 by Sim Shagaya, Ulesson is an EdTech startup that focuses on home tutoring for children of primary and secondary classes in Africa. Other features include real-time assignment help for students, quizzes, live classes, animated learning videos and standard testing. Ulesson is the fastest growing African EdTech startup with massive growth potential for the future.
Ulesson offers unconventional education to African students in a simplified and well-illustrated format that is both affordable and easily accessible.
Funding: Ulesson raised $15million in funding led by Nielson Ventures, Owl Ventures, TLcom Capital, Founder collective and Tencent. The startup had earlier received $7.5million in funding in its series A round financing.
Location: Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Liberia, United Kingdom, and the US.
Moove is an African mobility company that is determined to bridge the gap of deficit vehicle ownership in Africa by providing affordable vehicle financing solutions for mobility entrepreneurs AKA drivers.
Moove was founded in 2019 by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi. It provides low-interest loans for drivers who wish to purchase cars for commercial use and will make repayment over a span of 4 years maximum.
In addition to creating viable vehicle financing solutions, Moove has created job opportunities for millions of Africans in partnership with Uber.
Funding: Moove raised $5.5 million in seed round in 2020, prior to that it had raised $23 million series A financing backed by Speedinvest and Left lane Capital, and had $40milion in debt financing.
Location: Nigeria, Accra, Johannesburg South Africa.
Autochek was founded in 2020 by Etop Ikpe with the aim of creating easy access to auto loans, and providing qualitative maintenance service combined with attractive post-sales packages.
This Nigerian automotive startup makes buying and selling of cars easier within the country. They offer all kind of car maintenance services ranging from repairs, regular servicing, spare part fixing, painting and even washing.
In addition, Autochek facilitates safe and secure sales of used cars on their platform. The company is reported to have secured seed funding of $16.5 million in only about a year of its existence.
This is another FinTech giant that was launched in 2017 by Ahmed Razaq and Edward Popoola. Cowrywise offers saving and investment services as well as personalized financial services to the entire Nigerian market.
The platform gives users a chance to have multiple savings plans and invest automatically based on their investment plan. Each investment attracts a higher interest rate usually more than that of the banks.
Funding: $3 million series A round led by Quona Capital in January, 2021
Founded in 2019 by Tosin Osibodu, Chaka has gotten mileage as the first Fintech company to gain a digital license to trade stock in Nigeria. It offers users a digital platform to own portfolio investment on both local and foreign stocks globally.
Funding: Chaka raised $1.5 million pre-seed funding led by Breyer Capital in July 2021.
Formerly known as Mines, this is a credit startup that facilitates lending for other financial institutions such as banks, telecoms, retailers, and fintech companies through its custom-built API. This tech startup was founded by Ekechi Nwokah in 2013 and has continued to expand ever since its inception.
Users of Migo can easily access loans and withdraw money and get a credit score that shows their credit-worthiness after each transaction, companies using the platform can now give credit to their customers based on their credit rating.
This way, banks, and businesses can assess a lender based on his credit history before releasing loans.
Funding: In 2019 Migo raised $20 million series B funding round led by valar Capital, $13 million series A funding in 2018.
Location: Nigeria, Brazil
There are other high-profile Nigerian tech startups aside from those listed above, which include: Rise vest, Gradely, Konga, Piggyvest, and wealth.ng among others.