- Some startups are going to take us by storm in 2019 as the ecosystem is becoming more and more open to investment.
- I asked more than half a dozen venture capital investors, mentors and tech experts in Nigeria to name the startups they feel they are excited about and ones that are going to take us by storm this year.
Nigerian startups led the bulk of investment on the continent in 2018 with 58 startups raising a total of $94.9 million from various sectors, according to Disrupt Africa’s Startup Funding Report for 2018.
Following the steps and success stories of Andela, Flutterwave and others in Africa, the likes of PiggyBank, Paystack, Farmcrowdy made waves in the startup space in 2018 with fintech leading the funding raising noise.
But what about the up-and-coming startups that could shake the Nigerian landscape in 2019 and at the verge of becoming market leaders in their sectors?
I asked more than half a dozen venture capital investors, mentors and tech experts in Nigeria to name the startups they feel are excited about and ones that are going to take us by storm this year.
Their takes include startups from edutech, agritech, fintech, health and logistics and they are passionate about what they are and what they will do to the Nigerian economy in 2019 and beyond.
ALSO READ: 10 Kenyan startups to watch out for in 2019
Apart from Nigeria’s 2019 elections, some startups are going to take us by storm as the space is becoming more and more open to investment and in turn making Nigeria an investment destination for venture capitalists.
Here is Business Insider SSA by Pulse’s list of 10 startups to watch out for in 2019.
1. PiggyVest (formerly Piggybank)
Founders: Joshua Chibueze, Odunayo Eweniyi and Somto Ifezue
VC: VilCap Investments, Village Capital, Leadpath Nigeria and Ventures Platform
Funding: $1.2 million
What it does: Savings/financial intelligence for millennials
Why it’s hot in 2019: PiggyVest has grown its community to over 195,000 registered individuals with over N1 billion monthly savings and has been a dominance voice in the fintech space in Nigeria.
The company plans to more financial features to make the platform more robust and primed to reach more users across the continent and a focus to go global.
Founders: Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade
VC: Stripe, Visa, Tencent and Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures and Ventures Platform.
Funding: $11.7 million
What it does: Payment for Africa
Why it’s hot in 2019: Paystack has grown to process nearly 15% of all online payments in Africa’s largest economy, powering tens of thousands of businesses of all sizes including telcos, airlines, and government agencies.
This year, the company seek to scale and deepening its payments infrastructure, accelerate expansion across the continent.
3. Thrive Agric
Founder: Ayodeji Arikawe
VC: Ventures Platform
What it does: Crowdsourcing investments in agriculture
Why it’s hot in 2019: Since 2017, Thrive Agric has supported more than 4,000 farmers with crowd-sourcing model and help small-scale producers with access to finance, best practices and link up with buyers during harvest.
Currently among the 500 startups participating at the tech accelerator programme of the Silicon Valley firm.
The Agric-tech company is working to scale through other Africa cities and provides farmer clients with expertise as well as fundraising.
Founders: Ekechi Nwokah and Kunle Olukotun
VC: XSeed Capital, First Ally Capital, Western Technology Investment and The Rise Fund
Funding: $17.2 million
What it does: Digital credit platform for emerging markets
Why it’s hot in 2019: Mines, a multi-million company will continue growth expansion in Africa and move South America and South-East Asia. The company is also planning to partner with credit institutions to drive financial access around the world.
Founder: Abolore Salami
What it does: Financial intelligence for co-operatives
Why it’s hot in 2019: With the potential to bring 50 million financially excluded/under-served people into the digital economy and finance system using its tools and solution, Riby Enumerator, Microtraction invested in the platform last year.
The idea was to capture the underserved population and help co-operatives digitize their operations across the country. These potentials and others, many tech analysts and investors believe will manifest in the platform in 2019.
Founder: Temie Giwa Tubosun
VC: EchoVC Partners, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria and Fola Laoye
What it does: Saving lives through the availability of blood
Why it’s hot in 2019: On a mission is to reduce the number of deaths linked to limited oxygen availability by improving oxygen distribution to hospitals through AirBank in a country where more than half a million die annually due to hypoxaemia.
In 2018, the company won MIT Solve Global Challenge in health category and looking to start on-demand delivery of oxygen monitoring equipment like pulse oximeters, routine, scheduled delivery of oxygen to replenish depleted hospital stock in Africa’s populous nation.
Founders: Ife Oyedele ll, Obi Ozor
VC: International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital Partners, Y Combinator, Oded David ‘O.D.’ Kobo, Verod Capital Management and Western Technology Investment
Funding: $7.3 million
What it does: Logistics in Nigeria
Why it’s hot in 2019: Kobo360’s goal is to build a global logistics operating system by upgrading its platform and expand operations to Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.
By doing this, it plans to add more physical presence throughout Nigeria and open100 hubs before the end of 2019.
8. Estate Intel
Founder: Dolapo Omidire MRICS
Sector: Real estate
What it does: Providing Africa’s largest commercial property database.
Why it’s hot in 2019: Estate Intel is providing data for the commercial real estate sector in Nigeria by building a web-based application for market participants.
The real estate startup also won $10,000 recently at the Pitch Storm event organised by Techpoint, Dolapo says Estate Intel intends solution tailored towards people’s problem in the real estate industry.
9. Mobile Forms Africa
Founders: Damilola Ayorinde, Oluwatomi Ayorinde
VC: Right Side Capital Management, 500 Startups and Ventures Platform
Sector: Data collection
What it does: Intelligent data collection
Why it’s hot in 2019: The transforming of data usage in Africa for local and international businesses.
Founders: Henry Nnalue and Angela Essien
What it does: Education financing and management
Why it’s hot in 2019: Allpro is working to addressing the challenges – funding majorly, affecting education in Nigeria by providing finance through access to loans. It is an end-to-end lending platform for schools in Nigeria by offering credit risks for lenders while making access to credit easy for various stakeholders in the school ecosystem – Proprietor, parents and teachers.