5 Nigerian startups you should pay attention to in 2018

List & Guides Nigeria Start-ups

This past year wrapped up with several notable events surrounding the Nigerian tech scene. While some events provoked watery eyes, such as the passing on of young talents, there was also a lot to rejoice over. More local startups caught the attention of foreign investors, and the tech scene is decentralising from Lagos and emerging in other states.

Furthermore, Nigerian startups have shown doggedness in their quest to solve problems in the country as more keep springing almost on a daily basis. There’s a chance that these only signal the beginning of brighter and more achievements in the new year.

While we await more, here are 5 Nigerian startups you shouldn’t take your eyes off as 2018 creeps in.

Monapay

Monapay website

Monapay, a fintech startup, launched in 2017 intends to go unconventional with how online payment is made. The founder, Hugo Obi thought it might be easier to pay for digital products using airtime than undergoing the stress of using credit/debit cards. If you’ve ever had to punch in your card number, CVV, expiry date and other details usually demanded to make online transactions, then you might agree with him.

Monapay was born, almost at the same instant that thought crossed Hugo’s mind. The solution is simple; to serve as an airtime payment solution for digital content providers in Nigeria. Here’s why Monapay deserves attention. From the creation of the account on the website to adding products and integrating the system, there’s something Monapay promotes more than anything else — ease of payment.

No one can dispute the fact that everyone appreciates an easy life, or better put, an easier way of doing things. Similar to Monapay is CodaPay, which has been deployed in emerging markets (Indonesia, Malaysia) in the South East since 2013 and is serving the cardless population across the region.

Prior to official launch, Hugo had demonstrated the simplicity of how Monapay works to the Techpoint team, using another platform he owns Maliyo — a platform that aggregates African based apps and content. The solution allows third-party platforms/developers to integrate its API.

What’s more interesting is, just before December saw its last days, Monapay won ₦2 million from Access Bank’s fintech event, Disrupt Africa. And if this is anything to go by, the panel must have seen the potential this startup wields. For all we know, it could birth a revolution of ensuring further adoption cardless payments, especially since conversation around getting rid of ATM cards has been ongoing recently.

Obviously, Hugo is onto something. And there’s definitely more Monapay has in store. 2018 will tell.

ThriveAgric

Once upon a time, the image of a rural dweller, struggling to till the land in a rural area comes to mind when one thinks of a “farmer”. In recent times, that image has been replaced with the “barely-tapped” potential that the Nigerian agricultural space presents. And several entities are taking a more modernised approach to exploit Nigeria’s  ₦21 trillion food industryThriveAgric is one of such.

As described on the website, Thrive Agric “gives you the opportunity to fund a farm, empower farmers, learn practical agricultural tips and share the harvest”. Obviously, Thrive Agric is a welcome development and has given a major boost to farmers in its operations scope. The startup acts more like a middleman servicing farmers and individuals interested in investing in farming.

For individuals, it allows easy and insured investment with a promise of 23% ROI in less than a year. While farmers get access to the funding needed to embark on their farming operations.

Since inception in 2017, Thrive Agric has made notable achievements. The startup claims to have sold out more than 200 hectares of farmland, which is not up to a fraction of the 80 million hectares of arable land Nigeria is blessed with. Also, it was admitted as part of Ventures Platform’s second cohort, which got it $20,000 in funding.

What’s a more plausible edge for Thrive Agric is, the founders, themselves, are young farmers. Certainly, there is no doubt that Thrive Agric will definitely thrive more this year.

Dropque

There are several glitches and hitches that accompany job hunt and talent search. A lot of recruiters can attest to the fact that screening through myriads of applications to get the most suitable “fit” for the job is usually a herculean task. And for the applicants, waiting in line for a very long time before getting feedback on the status of their application could be frustrating.

The Nigerian Immigration Stampede of 2014 is a scenario that depicts how job hunting could result in loss of lives. The tragedy could have been averted if there was a system where interviews could be conducted without applicants being physically present. Dropque was founded to enable such a system.

According to the founder, Opeyemi Akinwoleola, the recruitment software saves up to 50% of the time spent on recruitment, both for candidates and employers. Dropque’s interface allows recruiters to send video, file or text-based interviews to prospective candidates, whose responses are sent to recruiter’s dashboard for easy shortlisting and collaborative assessments with other members of the recruitment team.

As it appears, CVs do not provide sufficient information for employers to make informed decisions at the early screening stage, Dropque believes the system it has provided will facilitate a better screening process and help the recruitment team to reach a more precise decision on their choice of candidate. In a nutshell, face-to-face interviews are eliminated; saving time (for the recruiters) and cost (for the applicants).

The MEST Incubator backed startup claims to already have 3,100 candidates taking interviews via the software. Indeed, Dropque is helping to solve a critical challenge while it looks promising at the moment, there’s more to look forward to in the new year. Continue reading

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