In 2015, $49.4 million was invested in Nigerian technology startups. Additionally, companies based in Nigeria received the most support from Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), an organization dedicated to funding new businesses. Read on to discover some of the best tech companies that were founded in the country.
Catering to young Nigerians, YNaija is an online newspaper that publishes articles on current news, entertainment, politics, technology, and fashion, among other topics. The media outlet, a brand within the omni-media group RED, encourages the public to send in tips about interesting stories that can be featured on the site and also has a blogger platform that helps up-and-coming writers build a portfolio.
YNaija utilizes a point system to rank bloggers based on published articles and page views. The points accumulate each month and determine which writers receive a featured position, which increases their visibility to the public.
Helping decrease unemployment by connecting job seekers with employers, Jobberman serves as a leading recruitment site in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company has history dating back to 2009, when it was founded by a Nigerian college student. In 2015, Google for Entrepreneur’s Startup Grind reported that the job search engine received more than 1.5 million visitors per month.
During the same year, the company’s success resulted in its acquisition by One Africa Media. Jobberman is now a part of the media company, which is partly owned by the largest online employment marketplace, SEEK. The company continues to serve as a job search engine and also offers services through its subsidiaries, Jobberman Consulting, Jobberman Testing, Jobberman Learning, and Workcenta.
IROKOtv gives audiences the ability to stream Nollywood films and television series. The company, which is similar to Netflix, has become a notable African technology brand and is the largest online service for African entertainment. It receives backing from Tiger Global, a United States-based hedge fund. Additionally, the firm has garnered more than $30 million in support since its inception in 2010, when Manchester University graduate Jason Njoku began purchasing online licenses for Nollywood films to share on YouTube.
Special watch lists created by IROKOtv staff ensure users have access to the best films and TV series available. Streaming entertainment through IROKOtv’s Android app is available as well. Further, users can download content to watch offline at their leisure.
Founded in 2011, DealDey provides consumers discounts of up to 90 percent on products and services by partnering with local businesses. The company guarantees all promoted items come from quality vendors. The site is free to use, but registration is required. Once signed in, a consumer can shop listed deals and complete their transaction using one of three payment options.
For convenience, purchased items are typically delivered directly to the consumer. Pickups at designated locations can also be arranged. Service-related deals or those requiring redemption come in the form of coupons that can be easily downloaded from the user’s DealDey account when ready. Redeeming coupons requires contacting the merchant to arrange delivery of services.
Supporting WordPress and Joomla sites, WhoGoHost provides web hosting and domain registration services. The business, founded by Opeyemi Awoyemi, launched in 2007 and became an incorporated company four years later. It maintains accreditation as an apps reseller through Google and partners with Cloudflare and Interswitch. By providing quality service, which is available in and outside Nigeria, WhoGoHost now stands among the top three web hosting companies in the country.
Other services accessible through WhoGoHost include SiteLock and web design. The former is a cloud-based security solution that safeguards data stored and websites owned by small- and medium-sized businesses. The latter leverages the expertise of designers and developers to create a website that communicates effectively to targeted audiences.
Established in late 2012, Hotels.ng received financial support from SPARK in 2013, which made it possible for the startup to grow into a prominent online hotel booking agency. In 2015, the website had an estimated population of 170 million users. Its success caught the attention of venture capitalists representing the EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund and Omidyar Network and resulted in $1.2 million in Series A funding.
Today, Hotels.ng helps travelers book accommodations at more than 7,100 hotels in 334 cities throughout Nigeria. The company offers exceptional customer service that ensures booking hotel rooms online is accomplished with ease. Upon selecting a room, users can choose to prepay their reservation or pay upon arrival.
7. Jumia Nigeria (Jumia)
Dubbed the “African Amazon” and owned by the Africa Internet Group, Jumia extends its services to eight additional countries outside Nigeria. The company has received multimillion-dollar backing from Summit Partners and grown its workforce to 1,500 employees.
Jumia stocks in excess of 100,000 products, and the brands Innjoo and St. Genevieve were exclusively launched on the site. The two join other popular brands, including Apple, Samsung, Vera Moda, and AX Paris. Among the startup’s most prestigious achievements to date was winning the world retail awards. Received in 2013, the accolade was the first time an African-based business won the award.