There are many tech startups in Nigeria. These ones are making significant progress and growth and we are so excited about this. Nigeria is one great nation blessed with a vast pool of young talented individuals. It’s by default a creative hub in Africa, and that has seen the rise of many impressive startups. These startups are addressing the numerous challenges of its massive population, and also at the continental level.
From Fintech to agriculture, and from real estate to technology, these startups are charting a new course that will better the lives of Nigerians and Africa at large in the 21st century. And of course, they are making progress in their various niches. These young minds are already millionaires advancing towards Forbes’ attention.
While more startups are in the pipeline, let’s take a look at the ones in the frontlines that are making progress.
Top 10 Startups in Nigeria Making Progress
1. Paystack (Acquired by Stripe)
Founded by the two bright minds from Covenant University – Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi in 2015, Paystack has gradually risen through the ranks to become one of Nigeria’s foremost payment platforms.
It’s a Fintech giant in Nigeria at the moment, and over 60, 000 businesses across the nation use its secured platform to accept funds via credit and debit cards. Beyond businesses, Paystack is a household name in Nigeria as far as online payment is concerned.
It has a mobile app and a website where these secured transactions take place. As of 2018, Paystack was responsible for almost 15% of all online payments made in Nigeria. However, this year the fortunes of Paystack founders turned around for the best when a U.S based Fintech organization; Stripe acquired Paystack in a deal reportedly worth $200m. This deal is renowned to be the largest startup acquisition in Nigeria. Although acquired, we can’t help but mention Paystack here due to its reputable status.
2. Piggyvest (formerly known as Piggybank)
When Piggyvest was launched in 2016 as Piggybank by Joshua Chibueze, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Somto Ifezue, Nigerians were all nostalgic and grateful. It evoked memories of the good old days where little savings were accumulated in a piggy bank and cracked at the end of the year. So Piggybank was welcomed with open arms as it provides a digital variant of the legendary piggy bank known in local parlance as a wooden saving box.
Today, Piggyvest is the largest digital savings platform in Nigeria with over 190, 000 Nigerians registered under it. With Piggyvest, you can start saving from as low as N1,000 and get 25% of your savings at the end of the year. You can save for your car, college degree, wedding, and just about anything. The platform is secure and you can decide to save daily, weekly, or monthly.
3. Thrive Agric
Now away from Fintech, and into agriculture. In 2016 which now looks like the unofficial glorious year for startups in Nigeria, Ayodeji Arikawe and Uka Eje founded Thrive Agric.
The goal was to crowdsource funds which will be accessed by small scale farmers and used to grow their businesses. So Thrive Agric was created as online crowdfunding media to address the financial challenges that small scale farmers have, and bridge the gap between them and the agro market.
Thrive Agric has thrived massively since inception with more than 11, 000 farmers having access to it across Nigeria. They’ve been featured in Harvard Business School, pitched their ideas at the Palace of the Duke of York, and have attracted the attention of Nigeria’s Vice President; Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo.
In January 2016, Lifebank was founded by Temie Giwa-Tubosin and it’s the first health innovative startup on this list. Lifebank was founded to address the issue of blood deficit in Nigeria that has led to the loss of many lives.
Living up to its founding goal, Lifebank has saved up to 5, 770 lives using 5, 604 donors in partnership with 887 hospitals across Nigeria. Lifebank operates from Yaba Lagos, receives blood donations from numerous laboratories, and sends them to hospitals in need.
Beyond blood transport, Lifebank delivers medical supplies like oxygen and vaccines. In August same year after her startup began, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledge Mrs. Tubosin’s work when he visited Nigeria for the first time. She has gained a lot of recognition for the incredible work she’s doing across the world, and in 2019, she was named the winner of Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize in Ghana.
And back to Fintech where 2016 is yet in the scene as a startup year for Nigeria’s most prodigious talents. Founded by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Flutterwave lives up to its promise of helping residents in Africa – not just Nigeria, make and accept payments seamlessly from customers anywhere in the globe.
Often compared to the likes of Paystack and Interswitch, Flutterwave exists in a class by itself while offering payment solutions to Nigerians and Africans.
Their services are also used by banks and merchants as it is secure, fast, and reliable. The Nigerian-based Fintech giant is in partnership with over 50 banks in Africa and has processed more than 100 million transactions since inception valued at $2.5 billion.
With $17.2 million funding capital accumulated from XSeed Capital, First Ally Capital, Western Technology Investment, and The Rise Fund, Ekechi Nwokah and Kunle Olukotun were able to get their brainchild up and running.
Mines.io is a Fintech company that offers digital credit to rising markets. Through its support, it has seen the astronomical rise of markets in South America, Africa, and South-East Asia.
It seeks to ally with credit institutions to further its cause of making emerging markets in Africa and beyond advance rapidly.
In 2017, Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed began a startup akin to Piggvest and called it CowryWise. This venture of theirs promises to help Nigerians save and invest online with a wealth management app. Interest rates ranges from 10% – 15% annually.
It has kept true to this promise as many Nigerians are using the platform to save, invest, and achieve their short and long-term financial goals.
CowryWise is also into mutual funds where you can save as a group and achieve your goals faster if you can’t meet up saving personally.
You can transfer and receive money from other users in the platform, convert your phone into a digital wallet by saving in the stash on the app, and receive professional financial counsel on the CowryWise platform.
This is the oldest startup on the list and worthy of mention. Hotels.ng was founded in 2013 by Mark Essien. It is Nigeria’s largest online hotel booking agency. He began in the Cross River State which now has over 300 hotels on its listings.
When IrokoTV Boss; Jason Njoku invested in Hotels. ng through his startup; spark. ng, that marked a breakthrough for Hotels.ng. An investment of $75, 000 which was followed by another $150, 000 was enough to make Mark move his business to Lagos from Calabar. Lagos now has over 2000 hotels on its listing.
Today, if you are traveling around Nigeria and you need a good hotel to lodge, Hotels.ng is the perfect online destination.
9. Push CV
Push CV was founded in 2014 by Odunayo Eweniyi after having submitted tons of CVs, gone for interviews, and was never hired. Fed up with the rejections and the strenuous job of looking for jobs, she decided to create one for herself in Push CV.
Through her startup, she helps young Nigerians get their desired job by sending their CVs to recruiters. Today, many top corporations in Nigeria depend on Push CV for recommendations on the right candidates to hire.
Push CV is for both employers and job seekers, and Odunayo is committed to bridging the gap between employers and job seekers through technology.
In 2016, Abolore Salami founded Riby which is also a Fintech company. Riby’s core mission is hinged on providing financial management services for cooperatives like savings and trade groups.
In the years succeeding its official launch, Riby has been in the business of empowering Nigerians with access to loans.
It has assisted over 8, 000 cooperatives and trade groups in Nigeria in terms of financial intelligence and is looking to scale up with Co-banking application in the months to come. It is also looking to expand into other African countries.