Startups in Nigeria Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa as well as the largest population on the continent, so it comes as no surprise that the country is a hotbed for startups in Africa. In line with trends across Africa, microfinance companies are leading the enduring race to find investors, attracting almost 30% of all VC investments in Q2 2018 in Nigeria, according to Techpoint.ng. Below are overviews of 3 out of the many start up companies making waves in the country.
Piggybank.ng is a finance management platform helping Nigerian debit card holders save their finances efficiently in an environment with no tangible credit system in place. Most payments here are made in cash, making savings difficult to maintain. Piggybank.ng’s concept is simple – allow savers to save from as little as N50/day [USD1= approx. N363.5] and then restrict when they can withdraw their savings to an agreed date of their choice. Savers can also withdraw for free once every quarter. Savers can save between N50 – N25 000 daily, N1000 – N100 000 weekly, N3 000 – N500 000 monthly using the Autosave™ option. The Quicksave™ option allows savers to also, at any time, add up to N500 000 to their savings. Additionally, there’s the Safelock™ option, a quasi-FDA (fixed deposit account) allowing users to put aside an amount of money separate from their normal Piggybank.ng savings for any duration between 10 and 1000 days – this amount is ‘locked’ for the entire agreed duration. Financial discipline is incentivised by enabling ‘piggybankers’ to earn on average 6% per annum on automated savings or 10.95% on the Safelock™ product. Furthermore, users are penalised 5% of any withdrawal outside of the agreed dates, removing the temptation to withdraw. At Two4Africa.com, we believe that despite the superbly innovative products on offer perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this fintech start up to date has been their ability to find investors locally. Their latest seed round announced on the 31st of May 2018 raised $1.1M with lead investors from Nigeria, Leadpath Nigeria.
Bankly was founded by Tomilola Adejana with the core mission of enabling financial inclusion in the traditionally cash-based economy of Nigeria. This start-up company’s “Recharge to Save” model is growing on the back of the status quo by taking advantage of existing networks, and infrastructure. The cash digitization voucher system has proven to be successful in the telecoms industry. For a nation with over 150 million mobile phone users, Bankly has adopted this system – reducing the cost of accessing financial services and creating a platform to develop other financial services. Nigeria has a predominantly young population – subsequently, millennials disregarded for or disillusioned with traditional banking services are finding solace in digital banking products such as Bankly. The convenience, lack of banking fees and ease of access provided by the digital banking experience is appealing to most millennials. For these same reasons, Bankly is facilitating the financial inclusion of low-income households who have traditionally been excluded from the formal financial sector. Bankly is currently available on the Airtel, Glo, MTN and 9mobile networks in Nigeria and users can buy recharge cards from agents across the country and deposit money into their Bankly account. Bankly also allows for simple and convenient payments for users be it, bill payments, airtime, utilities, remittances or peer to peer. While the primary goal is to encourage users to save, they can still easily cash out at an agent or to an assigned bank account. Startupbootcamp has invested in Bankly.
Founded in September 2016, Thrive Agric self-describe as farmers first ‘then a technology driven company passionate about driving change among small holder farmers.’ Using a crowdfunding platform, Thrive Agric provides farmers with the financial support they need to grow in the form of inputs, access to markets and advice-giving via tech. This ground-breaking start up cleverly found a way to marry small holder farmers and urban dwellers interested in agriculture for the greater good. The farmers needed financial support to increase yield and access to premium markets, and on the other hand, despite their interest, urban dwellers were deterred from starting farms by the logistical challenges. In a stroke of genius, Thrive Agric put two and two together and decided to offer ordinary folk the chance to invest in agriculture. So how does it work? On the platform you’ll find farms listed with information on how much each unit (specific size/quantity livestock per posting) needs, how long until ROI and the percentage returns. Subscribers can then invest in any of the listed units through online payment. The funds will be used for inputs, insurance and marketing. Subscribers will be regularly updated on the progress at the farm all the way through to harvest and, after harvest, they receive their investment plus any returns. Profits are shared using a 40:40:20 model, 40% goes to farmers, 40% to subscribers and the remaining 20% to the startup company. To date, Thrive Agric has raised $20K funding from Lead Investors, Ventures Platform.