Today, Fintech is on the rise, just as many other tech-heads are coming up with solutions that aim to solve a problem. The question of how many of these get successful is not a question for this article. It is easy for non-tech heads to think that Tech just becomes radically a thing in Nigeria in the past few years.
However, this is not true. The like of Interswitch have been pushing the boundaries since way back (the only reason they are not on this list – not of this decade). They have had to battle with unfavorable policies that plagued and still plagues the Nigerian Tech ecosystem
The reality is a thing, but in this article, we aim to celebrate the tech-related brands that defined the space, in this decade.
I must say, this list is not ordered or ranked, it is simply a culmination of brands that caught my fancy, with contributions from my friend, Tobi Adegoke – a tech head at hotel.ng. If you feel a brand is missing, kindly leave a comment, and we would have it updated.
Founded by a team of techies (6 co-founders) who felt that the learning process of tech in Nigeria is not as sound as it should be, Andela launched operations in Nigeria in 2014. As described by Wikipedia, “Andela is an American company that identifies and develops software developers.
Andela has risen through the ranks to become the most valuable tech brand in Nigeria, Africa at large. Partnerships with top brands like Facebook, amongst others, has helped her deliver the value it set out to deliver.
Jeremy Johnson, Christina Sass, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Nadayar Enegesi, Brice Nkengsa, and Ian Carnevale did a good job this decade, and we have them to thank for this. Five years of astounding records, training the best tech-heads of the African origin, grooming them for the international market (as well as local). This arguably the most valuable Tech brand in Africa.
A personal saving less than a million naira, was just what the amazing Evans Akanno needed to launch a company, whose impact placed him on the Forbes list. Cregital is a design agency with all that is needed to help businesses create the optimum brand identity, as well as developing user-friendly digital interfaces.
“Cregital is a digital product agency dedicated to building cutting-edge website experiences and brand identities for forward-thinking companies. We are creatively driven by the synergy of design and technology” says the landing page of the company’s website.
If any other product does not prove this, the Disha platform does. Cregital has placed itself on the map of creative technological design in Nigeria, and the next decade looks great for the company already.
And, I cannot round up on Cregital without mentioning “Acts of Random Kindness – ARK”. An annual reach out organized by the company with the help of volunteers to reach out to the masses on the streets of her home community – Lagos.
Jumia is arguably Nigeria’s No.1 Online Shopping destination, and just about anything you want to buy can be found there, save human parts, weapons, and Iron Man’s suit. It has not been an easy ride for Jumia, but the fact that the company is still standing says a whole lot about the doggedness of the founders – one that is needed to survive in the entrepreneurial space in Nigeria.
Many of the years in existence, turning profit was a hard one for Jumia, with challenges even in other countries the brand has spanned to.
Traded on the NYSE, Jumia has about 5100 employees, and it is constantly expanding and evolving to meet the demands of the African market.
It’s been a bumpy ride, let’s hope the next decade treat the company well – our very prayer.
In the spirit of e-commerce, Konga is another major player. It’s hard to determine which is more popular between Konga and Jumia. But, we’d all agree that, that’s not what matters. Profit is the main thing for every company.
Just about anything that can be ordered with the help of a picture is sold on Konga. Founded in 2012, Konga has thereafter being acquired by Zinox technologies on Feb 3, 2018.
A rough decade too in the Nigerian market, largely due to the fact that just about 1% of Nigerians shop online, as against the 28.4% of the population that uses the internet (as of 2011). We all have our fingers crossed as to what turn around the next decade holds for them. We ‘ever-ly’ rooting for Konga. Go! Go!! Konga!!!
Bike transportation changed in Nigeria with the advent of digitalized hail riding, and ride-booking platforms. The traditional Okada as we know it now fields dope names like Max Okada…
The service is claimed to help reduce commute time by about 70% while being safe and affordable. I really hope this is true for Lagos. Even though I see no Max Okada in Abuja, that statement may hold true – or not (lack of traffic congestion gives room for fast cars to flex).
About 50 thousand app downloads on Playstore leaves the company as one of the leading hail riding brands to reckon with.
Personally, I love Gokada. Not necessarily because of a friend I have there, but how well it’s branding has evolved since foundation. Founded in 2018, the brand has done so well in providing an on-demand bike service, which earned it a spot on this list.
Over 100 thousand downloads on playstore, with the focus city being Lagos. It is hard to say if the drastic influence that was expected has actually been met in Lagos, but it certainly has resulted in tiny bits of ease on the part of commuters. Lagos, a city where there is the possibility of traffic jams for trekkers, what can bikes do in these situations?
Fintech, a part of Nigerian tech astronomically on the rise, with venture capitalist pouring millions of dollars, in funding. Cowrywise has sealed its place. And an average Nigerian with the will to save surely knows “Ope from Cowrywise”
Bad saving habits on the part of Nigerians almost disrupted the model for Cowrywise, but smart leadership and venturing into new spheres of finance has helped in keeping the brand on its feet. Cheers to a Cowry-full 2020s.
I first heard about Kudi as an undergraduate, and even when I didn’t feel the urge to use a mobile billing app, it was impossible to not know Kudi. Founded in 2016, Y Combinator was involved in its funding, to the tune of $5.9million.
The Kudi system helps you make payments and money transfers, all of which can be done via your Facebook Messenger and Skype. You can also get the Kudi app.
Funding is not enough for the success of a tech company, and while just having its own share of challenges like other companies, a growing customer base has been a positive. 2020s will surely be better.
In the Nigerian Telecom industry, MainOne has made quite an impact. Officially launched in 2010, MainOne has made huge investments in making sure that digital transformation is not far fetched for West Africa.
Entertainment is a great need of humanity, and Jason understands that. While Nollywood over the years has not impressed an Average Nigerian, iRoko still launched in 2011.
In what I believe is a forecasting of the fact that Nigerians will rise to pay for on-demand videos online. It’s hard to say how well the company has come in fulfilling in mandate, but we can say Nollywood has gotten better. Just as we hear of Netflix daily, iRoko TV will soon rise to be a household name – effectively dissipating Nollywood contents.
From rides to online payment, Opay is changing the game. Services that used to seem like luxury made as affordable as they can get. A company stemming from Opera, Opay has done so well in winning the heart of the masses, despite its late rise in the industry. Let’s hope the relevance remains over the course of the next decade.
There are over 1 billion blogs and webpages on the internet. And as of a couple of years ago, blogging was a venture every Tom, Dick and Harry looking to make a living off the internet, got into. Days later, many quit. Funny but true. Whogohost was founded in 2007, and as of 2014 was valued at over $10million. Founded by Opeyemi Awoyemi, who is also a cofounder at Jobberman.
Starting as simply a reseller of webhosting in local currency, the company has morphed to providing its hosting service (blackpenng.com’s proud host), and even grown to acquiring other hosting companies like “TheExpertHost”
It falls on this list, because its impact was felt nationwide within this period.
Are you looking for a job in top companies and don’t know where to start your search? Head to Jobberman. Are you looking to move to another city, and would be glad if you have at least an interview secured before your arrival, then Jobberman is the place to be. I doubt if any other platform comes close in bringing employers to employees (save the rise of LinkedIn).
Travels are an important aspect of human life, and Hotels.ng provides you with all you need to know and get. Services ranging from hotel bookings, to tour guide, tips and must-knows, everything you need to have a successful travel is on Hotels.ng. No one knows Nigeria like them, thanks to the dedicated team and optimized systems to make your search for adventure easier, and on budget.
“Stories that matter”. Founded to foster a delivery of in-depth insight on Tech in Africa, Techpoint has risen to being a leading storyteller in the Africa tech space. Sound reporters always on the go. Organizing events to empower tech entrepreneurs, as well enlightening tech enthusiasts, Techpoint has positioned itself to being a trusted pointer and guide in the wave of Africa’s tech.
Just like Techpoint, Techcabal is a cabal of tech storytellers and practitioners, delivering insightful news in tech, from both the consumables to the actual people driving the development Africa is experiencing in the industry.
Ventures platform is a Pan-African establishment created to empower indigenous entrepreneurs. The company was launched by Kola AIna, on the 3rd of June 2016. A startup tech company in need of early stage funding around you, get a call through to Ventures Platform.
Co-creation hub is a leading technological innovation center in Nigeria, and in recent news, the company acquired Kenya’s iHub, in the bid of expanding its reach. The company has also worked on innovation projects with Facebook and other global brands. Hence, its impact this decade deserves a great deal of plaudit.
Oh! Saving the best for the last? I love this company. A non-profit, with the sole aim of accelerating the breeding of Data scientists in Nigeria. The company has held several events across the country, and has created communities to this effect. I personally enjoyed the AI session anchored by the company’s director general at Techpoint Inspired 2019.
As stated earlier in this article, this is most likely not all the Tech-related brands that contributed to the development of the industry this decade. Hence, you can drop your comments on other mentions.
Tech is becoming an intrinsic way of life, and we need more brands to step up and solve problems that plague the African Landscape. 2029 is another end of decade to take a reflection on Tech, see you then. But first, see you in 2020.