This article was written by Seyi Taylor. Seyi Taylor is a Builder at Big Cabal Media – publishers of Nigeria’s largest tech blog www.techcabal.com and can be engaged on twitter via @seyitaylor. The article first appeared on www.techcabal.com
2014 has practically ended and we’ve seen the new and the old in startups. It’s been a year for new arrivals and old giants but these are the Nigerian startups we think you should be monitoring closely in 2015.
In the age of a billion e-commerce websites, Fashpa stands out for its commitment to becoming Africa’s primary online fashion lifestyle brand. Where many sites tend to focus on the nuts and bolts of e-commerce, Fashpa is trying to create excitement and loyalty around their brand. It will be a challenging journey but we think ex-Googler Honey Ogundeyi can deliver the goods.
Easily the most impressive new startup in Nigeria today, Delivery Science is everything we look forward to in a company – an experienced and competent team solving a real problem with real customers and local context. DS is bringing much-needed big data to the business of e-commerce logistics, serving the fastest-growing sub sector of the consumer tech industry. We’re expecting great things from them.
Printivo was started by the young yet experienced advertising entrepreneur Oluyomi Ojo and has quickly become the leading online print shop in Nigeria. Printivo’s dedication to customer service have endeared them to their customers and with the right support, it’s easy to see them becoming Nigeria’s default printer. What’s next? Launching a new version of their web application and a designers’ marketplace to create opportunities for creatives to make money from the platform.
Hotels.ng is not a new startup per se, but they’ve defied gravity to maintain a solid position in the hotel booking space. Founder and CEO Mark Essien has continued to show incredible tenacity and leadership in spite of a robust challenge from Rocket-backed Jovago, ensuring that his company will continue to serve his market for the foreseeable future. We think the only place for this startup to go is up.
Winners of TechCabal Battlefield 2014 have continued to impress. After pivoting from an online learning platform to a tutor marketplace, PrepClass have continued to grow, with the founders saying ‘demand is outstripping supply’ and trying to scale to keep up with the market. Wezam & Olumide may be young, but they are fiercely determined to make that business work and are succeeding.
Part-business, part-crusade, Andela aims to fill the world’s needs for developers by training them in the most ‘unlikely’ of places – Africa. Andela trains developers for free and then offers them as contract workers to companies from around the world. If they can make the model work, it will probably transform the startup landscape in the next 4-5 years. Fingers crossed.
Bosun Tijani, co-founder of the Co-Creation Hub started this project to find people to play sports with but it has quickly taken on a life of its own. What makes Truppr special is the community of fitness enthusiasts that has developed around it and the events it holds, making it a real phenomenon and actually touching people’s lives. We’re very excited to see what they’ll do next.
A late addition to the list, ChopUp Games have interestingly attracted angel investing from individuals such as Tayo Oviosu. ChopUp makes mobile games for Africa, most recently releasing Sambisa Assault. It will be interesting to see if they can unlock the mystery of gaming in Africa.