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Start-ups to watch in Nigeria’s tech space in 2019

Despite difficult business environment in Nigeria, start-ups in the tech space have continued to thrive against all odds. Yearly, we are seeing more innovative tech start-ups providing solutions to societal problems.

On this note, Start-Up-Digest takes a look at some of these start-ups that are making serious waves in the technology space.

Paystack

Paystack is a technology company that provides online payment facilities to merchants and others by way of an application programming interface (API) and a few lines of codes.

It is one of Nigeria’s largest payments platforms and has processed nearly 20 per cent of all online transactions in Africa’s biggest economy.

The company, founded by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, initially caught the eye of industry players when it was selected as the first Nigerian tech company to be accepted into the world-famous Y Combinator Progamme, based in Silicon Valley.

Since securing $120,000 early-stage investment from Y Combinator, the founders have quietly been building the company, working to secure more investments and building a network of partner merchants in Nigeria with over 1,500 currently using the platform to accept online payments.

 Hotel.ng

Hotels.ng is an online hotel booking platform where you can browse through thousands of hotels and book your desired rooms.

Mark Esssien founded Hotels.ng, and the organisation has turned out to become Nigeria’s largest hotel booking website.

The 33-year-old Essien studied in Germany and returned to set up Hotels.ng, having found that nobody was doing this at that time.

He raised $250,000’s seed fund from Jason Njoku’s SPARK in 2013, but the fund almost got exhausted along the line because most of it was going into salaries. But it is a different story today, having secured more international funds.

The online portal allows people from all over the world to book rooms from a selection of over 8000 hotels. It is easier and convenient for tourists and those who need hotels, meaning that there is a high potential for growth.

Tuteria

Godwin Benson, a first-class graduate of Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos, founded Tuteria to help Nigerian students find teachers near them.

Tutors are often manually assessed, after which they face interviews from experts.

The Akwa Ibom-State entrepreneur was inspired to start this enterprise after teaching a man’s children maths for a month.

The man did not pay him and he was surprised to learn that he lived closed to him, yet he did not know him. So he needed to connect students and students that were close to each other

 PiggyBank

Piggybank.ng is an online savings platform that enables savers to put away funds that they do not need and withdraw easily when the saving duration expires.

With PiggyBank, savers can save as little as $1 a day and then restrict withdrawal of their savings to specific chosen dates.

Unlike a regular bank’s savings account, where you can access the money at any time, Piggybank.ng helps its users maintain their savings discipline and culture.

Piggybankers can earn an average six percent per annum on automated savings or 10.95percent per annum on the fixed deposit products. Safelock and can withdraw funds for free once per quarter.

Piggybank.ng, which is cofounded by Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi and Joshua Chibueze, is now particularly popular amongst Nigeria’s millennial, for whom going online via their mobile phones for day-to-day transactions is second nature, and who currently make up 60 percent of the company’s registered users.

Having recorded staggering savings growth of 3,000 percent between 2016 and 2017, the Piggybank.ng community has saved over $5million and the company has commanded the attention of a group of Nigerian investors led by Olumide Soyombo, co-founder of  Leadpath, who has helped the company raise $1.1 million.

 Kobo360

Kobo360 is a tech-enabled digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework.

The start-up has an Uber-like app that connects Nigerian truckers to companies with freight needs. It pays drivers online immediately after successful hauls.

Through an all-in-one robust logistics ecosystem, Kobo uses big data and technology to reduce logistics frictions, empowering rural farmers to earn more by reducing farm wastages and helping manufacturers of all sizes to find new markets.

The start-up has refused to be intimidated by heavyweights such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL and has invested heavily in the haulage business.

The logistics start-up has been accepted into Y Combinator’s 2018 cohort and raised $1.2 million. Kobo360 was founded by Obi Ozor.

 Kitovu

To address challenges faced by farmers, Kitovu has devised a geo-location technology that matches crops with the right soil types to increase farmers’ yields per hectare.

Kitovu’s soil tests are affordable for farmers and have helped to considerably boost their yields per hectare.

The start-up has also developed a service called eProcure that connects farmers directly to buyers for their farm produce.

eProcure is like an inventory management system, with an algorithm that guarantees delivery of high quality produce when and where you need it.

This has helped remove the middle men from the distribution chain.

The success recorded in these areas took Kitovu’s innovations to about 3,000 farmers, and has opened the doors to further growth possibilities into Africa’s $100 billion agro-sector.

Skoolkive

Babajide Esho is the founder of Skoolkive, an online educational platform that helps schools automate and effectively manage their processes. The platform helps school administrators and parents to easily receive and make payments through a single channel.

The business, through its biometric features, also helps record students’ clock-in and clock-out, which can be sent to parents to enable them to effectively and efficiently monitor their children in secondary schools.

Jide was inspired to establish Skoolkive to help address some of the challenges in Nigeria’s educational system. He established the business in early 2017.

He and his partners pooled funds from personal savings and secured a pre-seed funding from Procyon Group, which cumulatively amounted to over N2.5 million. This fund was used to set up the business.

Skoolkive has signed a partnership deal with the regional sections of National Associations of Proprietors of Private Schools.

Edusko Africa

Edusko Africa is a tech start-up that connects parents and students with good and affordable private schools across Africa.

The organisation also assists parents in making informed choices on their wards’ education ranging from elementary to tertiary institutions.

Lack of adequate information in the country’s educational sector for parents inspired Jide Ayegbusi to establish Edusko in 2015.

Josephine Okojie

 

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