Nigerian startup funding beyond fintech
Nigerian startups.  Source: Stears Business

Here’s a fun game; mention ten Nigerian startups without including a fintech. Okay, maybe ten is too much; how about just five? Go ahead; I’ll wait.

You couldn’t do it, could you? Let’s see, you mentioned Kobo360, Stears, but couldn’t help but think of Flutterwave, Paystack and the other 200 fintech companies in the Nigerian market. 

That’s understandable.

Since the early 2010s, when the Nigerian tech ecosystem was reborn—the old era saw companies like Interswitch and SystemSpecs emerge in the 90s. From the get-go, attention has skewed to financial technology companies. 

Interestingly, between 2012 and 2016, we saw a lot of startups attempt to introduce digital layers to offline businesses. We had Jumia and Konga for retail, but there were other marketplaces for hotel bookings, real estate, and even freelancing services. Some of the “e-something” companies had shaky business models mostly copied from abroad with minimal tweaks for the local

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Abubakar Idris

Abubakar Idris

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