Technology and Innovation offer great opportunities for Nigeria to grow her economy if huge and deliberate investments are made towards that.Startups and small businesses are the engine that will drive such economic development in our country and in Africa at large.Therefore our young population becomes a great advantage when they become entrepreneurs.We bring you 10 Innovative Startup companies founded by young Nigerians,that are making big impacts in different sectors of the economy.They are attracting foreign investments into the country,they are solving big problems,creating jobs and driving innovation in Nigeria.They are:
54gene was launched in January 2019 by Dr Abasi Ene-Obong to address the significant gap in the global genomics market.The company is unlocking the African genome there by building African genetic data sets to make landmark discoveries and to support therapeutic development.
As of 2018, less than 3% of the data used in Genome-wide Association Studies were of African ancestry and currently, less than 1% of global drug discovery occurs on the African continent. Located in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, and in the US, 54gene aims to improve the development, availability and efficacy of medical products that will prove beneficial to Africans and the wider global population.
As part of its next stage of growth, the company will further explore partnerships and opportunities for co-development of drug targets and therapeutics, and expects to partner with pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies for clinical programs in Africa.54Gene has attracted $19.5 million in foreign investments.
Agriculture offers Nigeria a great economic gain and global relevance.This is where Farmcrowdy has positioned itself.
Farmcrowdy is Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform and a globally recognised Agritech company that connects small scale farmers across Nigeria with smart farming techniques, quality farm inputs, and access to broader markets to earn a decent profit margin compared to what they are used to earning within their locality.
Farmcrowdy has a vision to be the foremost digital agriculture platform in Africa admired for its impact on collaborative food production and boosting food security across the continent.The impact of its activities is great: empowering smallholder farmers as a way of contributing to increasing domestic food production and security.
So far, over 12,000 rural farmers have been able to keep a job, expand farm operations five times more and increase their income by 80% since Farmcrowdy launched in November,2016.The company has received several awards both within and outside the continent.Farmcrowdy was founded by Onyeka Akumah,Ifeanyi Anazodo,Akindele Phillips,Jimoh Maiyegun and Tope Omotani.The company has so far attracted $2.4m in funding.
Lack of a global fintech company that fully supports Africa’s ecommerce ecosystem has been a major setback in the growth and development of ecommerce in the continent.This is the problem that Flutterwave has set out to address.Flutterwave was founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa and Olugbenga Agboola,to provide technology,infrastructure and offer services to enable merchants,payment service providers,banks and businesses build secure and seamless payment solutions.
The company has achieved a great deal so far and has raised $64.5 million in funding, announced partnership with Worldpay FIS, and has launched an e-commerce platform for SMEs.
Flutterwave is making strides, even technologically, in building future-proof and resilient products in a dynamic environment.
Kobo360 is a digital technology platform disrupting African third-party logistics.The company operates a tech enabled digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to -end haulage operations to help cargo owners,truck owners and drivers achieve effective supply chain framework.Launched in 2017 by Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II, Kobo360 uses big data and technology to reduce logistics friction across the sectors like Agriculture and manufacturing.
Since its founding the company has moved close to 1000Mkg of goods, aggregated a fleet of over 10,000 drivers and trucks, for over 80 large enterprises such as Dangote Group, DHL, Unilever, Olam, African Industries, Flour Mills of Nigeria, and Lafarge.With operations in West and East Africa,Kobo360 is determined to build a global logistics operating system that will empower trade and commerce for Africa and emerging markets.They have attracted $37.3m in funding.
It is always a sad and unfortunate thing when someone has to die in any Nigerian hospital because the hospital does not have blood or oxygen for the patient or that the patient cannot afford them.This is the critical problem LifeBank is addressing.The company with operations in Nigeria and Kenya,uses technology and a multi-modal distribution platform to deliver blood and oxygen to hospitals thereby making them available when and where they are needed.The company continues to innovate in the way they deliver their core services and now use drones for delivery.Temie Giwa-Tubosun founded the company in 2015,she was the winner of Africa Netpreneur Prize of $250,000.They have also received a total of $225,000 in funding.
Paystack is a financial technology company founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi.The startup company provides a platform that helps businesses in Africa accept payments on their websites or apps from anyone,anywhere around the world through credit card,money transfer and also mobile money.Paystack through its innovativeness is around processing about 15% of all online payments in Nigeria,several businesses of all sizes including telcos, airlines,government agencies and small businesses.Paystack has attracted $11.7 million in funding.
Affordable and reliable internet is needed for Africa’s rapid technology and innovation development.Tizeti provides broadband internet services to densely populated urban centres in Africa.Tizeti has consistently delivered on its mission to provide unlimited internet to the numerous customers.
Tizeti enables millions of Africans to access the internet through its solar-powered towers in Nigeria and provides residences and businesses with price friendly unlimited high-speed broadband internet; covering Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers states in Nigeria.
Tizeti has installed over 25,000 public Wifi hotspots within Nigeria with 1,500,000 users and partnered with Facebook to offer Express Wi-Fi, rolling out thousands of new internet hotspots across Nigerian cities.The company has since expanded its services to Ghana with new brand GhanaWifi.com and its voice service WifiCall.ng.The company also recently launched its 4G services in selected Nigerian cities.Kendall Ananyi and Ifeanyi Okonkwo founded the company in 2010, they have attracted $5.1 million in funding.
PiggyVest (originally known as Piggybank.ng) was launched in 2016, as a savings product. Over the years, they have introduced innovative products, from savings tools like Safelock, Target and Group Savings, and PiggyFlex, to insurance products like AvonFlex, as well as TrackIt, which helps individuals and businesses in becoming more effective at financial management.In May 2018,Piggyvest acquired Gold Microfinance Bank.The founders are Joshua Chibueze,Ayo Akinola,Nonso Eagle,Odunayo Eweniyi and Somto Ifezue.They have attracted $1.2 million in funding.
As digital and cryptocurrencies adoption across the globe increases.Nigeria is not left behind in exploring the opportunities in Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.Nigeria is in fact one of the leading countries in cryptocurrency adoption in Africa. Buycoins is a tech startup founded in 2017 as a peer-to-peer platform that enables Nigerians to easily buy,sell or exchange cryptocurrency with around $7 million worth of digital cash traded each month on its platform.The company has also launched innovative product called SendCash that enables nigerians receive money into their bank account in Nigeria from any country using bitcoin. Buycoins was founded by Timi Ajiboye,Ire Aderinokun and Tomiwa Lasebikan.They have received $1.2 million in funding.
NairaEx is one of the most popular bitcoin exchange platforms in Nigeria.It allows users to buy and sell bitcoin and perfect money with Nigerian naira.The platform provides a fast,simple and easy bitcoin exchange service that is accessible to Nigerians.
The company which began operations in 2015 was founded by David Ajala, and aims to utilize the power of Bitcoin to provide a more stable and healthy monetary system allowing Nigerians to access the wealth and power of Bitcoin.
NairaEx currently processes over 1 billion Naira worth of bitcoin transactions each month and the platform has accumulated over 130,000 users with over 900,000 transactions. It has become one of the most trusted exchanges to buy and sell bitcoin in Nigeria.
Unlike most other Bitcoin exchanges, NairaEx isn’t relying on the payment processor or mobile payment solution for cash payments. In doing so, NairaEx cuts down on deposit fees, which would amount to as much as 2.5% otherwise.Making the purchase of Bitcoin more convenient, and being transparent regarding pricing and fees, are the top priorities for NairaEx.