The Nigerian startup space has experienced a boom in the past few years. New startups keep springing up on daily basis with the aim of providing solutions to perceived problems. Nigeria have the population and is a viable market for startups that can address its unique need.
There are few Nigerian startups contributing to the economic growth of the country. Some of these startups have received funding from local and international venture capitalist and have attracted media mentions. Some of them are on their way to becoming household names.
We looked across different industries and picked our top 10 startups that are making wave in their different industries.
Top 10 Startups in Nigeria.
Farmcrowdy is a leading agricultural technology startup in Nigeria. The digital agricultural platform was launched in 2016 to empower small scale farmers and increase food production in Nigeria.
Farmcrowdy empowers farmers from subsistence farming to farming as a business. Their vision is to encourage Nigerians to grow their own food. They are focused on taking advantage of under-utilized arable land in rural communities to grow food. Farmcrowdy help strengthen food security by letting farm sponsors participate in agriculture. The sponsors contribution contributes to food production and protect food security.
These farm sponsors get between 6-25% returns on original sponsorship made on the farm and farmers. The startup has empowered many farmers to get and keep jobs, expand their farm operations and increase revenue.
Through this platform, Nigerians have the opportunity to participate in agriculture without being on the farm. Farmcrowdy does this by connecting farm sponsors with real farmers. Farm sponsors choose the type of farm they want to invest in, and the funds are then used for the farming process.
The funds provided by sponsors are used to provide farmers with improved seeds, farm inputs and training on farming techniques.
In 2017, the company secured its seed funding of $1 million from both international and local investors including Techstar Ventures and FC Agro Allied. It received another $345, 000 funding from GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund in 2018.
Farmcrowdy, since its launch in 2016 has 16,000 plus acres available, 37,500 farm sponsorships, 11,000 plus farmers, 1,700,000 chickens reared and 70,000 plus farm followers.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian financial technology startup established in 2016 by a team of ex-bankers, entrepreneurs and engineers. The company was founded to provide seamless payment solutions to banks, merchants and their customers across Africa.
Flutterwave’s payments infrastructure connects Africa to the global economy. They have made it easier for African to build global businesses that can make and accept any payments, anywhere from across Africa and around the world. They stay ahead of the industry by improving on every feature they offer.
Flutterwave has processed 100 Million transactions worth $2.5B and have 50 bank partners in Africa. They are one integrated platform that accept payments, make payouts and manage business funds, helping businesses to connect globally.
The 2-year-old startup has raised over $20 million and its largest investors include Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Partners.
The startup has its headquarter in San Francisco with offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Accra and Johannesburg. In mid-2018, the payment solution startup expanded its operations into Uganda, making it their fourth African market.
Hotels.ng is an online travel agency that specializes in hotel booking in Nigeria. They help make the process of booking a hotel seamless by providing comprehensive help and support to their client.
Hotels.ng also provide reviews and recommend hotels ensuring that their clients stay in a clean and comfortable hotel all over the country. They aim to be the biggest provider of travel information and reservation in Africa.
Hotels.ng was founded by Mark Essien in 2013. Shortly after the company was founded, Spark.ng made an initial investment of $75,000 in Hotel.ng. Seeing the significant promise of the startup, it did not take a while before Spark.ng made another investment of $150,000. In 2015, Hotels.ng secured an additional $1.2M from international investors Echo VC Pan Africa Fund and Omidyar Network
Hotels.ng has 11,272 lists of hotel in 1,787 cities in Nigeria. In January 2018, the startup launched Hotel.africa which is an international hotels booking platform, and Fly.africa which render flights service. Hotels.africa has 27,312 lists of hotels in Africa and covers hotels in Cape Town, Nairobi, Kenya and is set to increase this number. In 2016, Hotels.ng co-invested in OgaVenue, an event booking platform with Jason Njoku.
This is a is a Venture Capital (VC) backed startup that offers modern financial services for emerging markets such as Nigeria, Brazil and Indonesia. The company was founded in 2014 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University, aimed to use artificial intelligence to provide access to credit.
Mines prides itself as the world’s most powerful platform for consumer credit in emerging markets. The business combines world-class artificial intelligence and extensive use of data with a strong focus on local partnerships to build financial inclusion.
They observed a problem; more than 3 billion adults globally do not have access to credit. Mines partners with banks, retailers and mobile operators to provide a credit-as-a-service digital platform that enables institutions in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers.
They provide financial insights on their clients’ customers using phone records, bank records, and payment transaction history. Mines’s clients are companies that have a large customer base and want to avail credit to that customer base. The platform is suitable for banks, mobile operators, retailers, and payment processors. Their clients’ include Interswitch, Airtel and several banks.
In 2018, Mines secured $13 million Series A funding to acquire talents and expand operations to South America and South East Asia.
LifeBank is an e-health startup dedicated to saving human lives by speeding up blood donations and deliveries to hospitals. It facilitates the transmission of blood from labs across the country to patients and doctors in hospitals.
LifeBank work with hospitals round the clock to find life saving medical products and deliver to the hospitals in the right condition across Africa. LifeBank believe no African should die from shortage of essential medical products at the hospital level. They deliver medical products such as blood, blood products, oxygen as well as vaccines to hospitals across Africa.
The startup was established in 2016 by Temie Giwa-Tubosun to ensure that safe blood supplies and medical products are delivered to hospitals and those in need using smart solutions.
The health startup secured $200,000 funding from EchoVC Partners and Fola Laoye to expand its services. They launched a new service called AirBank, an emergency medical oxygen delivery service to reduce Nigeria’s child mortality rate caused by limited access to oxygen.
According to their website, LifeBank has moved 12,570 products, served 704 hospitals, attracted 6,542 donors and saved 3118 lives. LifeBank has screening centers in Lagos and Abuja.
Paystack is a Nigerian-based payment startup that allows businesses to accept funds via credit card, debit card, money transfer and mobile money on their websites or mobile apps. It was founded by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi in 2015 to enable Nigerian merchants accept online payment.
Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid by anyone, anywhere in the world and is trusted by over 27,000 plus businesses. Some of Paystack merchants are MTN, Domino’s Pizza, Axa Mansard, Ren Money and Taxify.
In 2018, Paystack secured $8 million in Series A funding from global payment giants; Stripe, Visa, and Tencent to expand their payment infrastructure and grow their engineering team.
Beyond payment, Paystack’s dashboard allows firms to monitor every aspect of their business performance closely. Paystack is one of the startups that are very focused on their mission.
Thrive Agric is a technology-driven agricultural company established in 2016. It is an online crowdfunding platform that helps smallholder farmers secure finances needed to grow their business and, also links them to a profitable market.
Thrive Agric gives you the opportunity to fund a farm, empower farmers, learn practical agricultural tips and share in the harvest.
Thrive Agric is curbing food importation by providing a solution where technology is deployed to increase agricultural yield and productivity.
You start by subscribing on their platform, then you choose a farm or farms and the quantity you want. After, you then pay the subscription fee which reflects in your account. The next step will be to get practical updates which help you keep track of events. Upon successful harvest, the expected returns of proceeds from produce are sold and distributed to subscribers all within the stipulated time.
The company has a 40:40:20 profit-sharing model, with 40% of profits going to farmers, 40% to subscribers, and the startup taking the remaining 20%.
Since its inception in 2016, Thrive Agric has worked with over 11,467 farmers across the country, both directly and indirectly. And it has agricultural extension agents working out of 12 states in the Federation.
Printivo is one of the leading digital printing startups in Nigeria. It was launched in 2014 to solve the printing need of SME’s and individuals. Printivo is an online print shop where customers can upload their designs, or customize a ready-made template and have the results printed and shipped to them.
It offers high end personalized products such as calendars, posters, photobook, diaries, large prints on paper and many more to the customer’s doorstep. Printivo’s approach reduces cost and time is also saved as the delivery time is reduced.
Printivo also secured funds that helped them scale operation. Their entire core process runs in-house as well.
Publiseer is a digital publishing platform tailored to meet the growing needs of independent African authors and artist. The platform was created in 2017 by twin brothers Chidi Nwaogu and Chika Nwaogu to bring publishing, design and technology in one place.
Apart from free publishing, Publiseer helps authors and artistes convert their raw work into a beautiful and professional masterpiece. With Publiseer, you get a professional book/album cover and unique ISBN/UPC number assigned to their book/album.
The startup recently partnered with Google Play Books, to support Google’s digital book distribution service in fulfilling the publishing requests it receives in Africa. The startup expanded its operations from Nigeria to its neighbouring West African countries; South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Ghana.
According to Ventures Africa, the platform recorded a profit of nearly $11,000 in the first quarter of 2018, having published and monetized the creative works of over 500 African creatives.
CowryWise is a Nigerian fintech startup launched in 2017. It operates as a personal finance platform that helps users automates their savings and investments to meet financial goals.
CowryWise helps you automate your savings and earn 10% -15% interest per annum. The platform was built with Bank-Grade security features and works with a PCIDSS compliant payment processor for the security of the data it collects.
CowryWise has raised a total of $170K in funding over 2 rounds; $150K from Y combinator and $50K from Microtraction.
There are other startups doing amazing things in their industry but these are our top 10 startups. Write to us if you are disrupting your industry and want to be featured on Entrepreneurs.ng.