After the major disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, most businesses resumed operations in the third quarter of the year.
While the national economy is still in recovery, some businesses have picked up faster than others. Per numbers obtained from Crunchbase, Nigerian startups raised over $12m in funding this quarter.
The Benjamindada.com team will be curating a quarterly list of startups for our readers to keep an eye on. Startups that make it into the list will largely be early-stage and relatively unknown.
For Q3 2020, we are taking a look at four startups that are doing wonderfully well in their little corner of the country:
Startups raise money all the time, but the style in which it’s done is what makes some stand out. Mono made the news this quarter when it raised pre-seed funding after just two months afloat.
The API fintech startup is determined to take the industry by storm with its revolutionary technology. Mono’s API allows organizations to access their users’ financial details in a faster, easier, and more user-friendly way. Using the API, businesses can verify customers’ account details, get bank statements, and perform transactions.
Co-founder, Abdulhamid Hassan, is bullish on building Mono to be the Plaid for Africa. The company has the mission of being the go-to financial data infrastructure API platform in Africa. Already, Mono has already completed integrations with most Nigerian banks and is looking to break into new markets.
Since Mono raised $500k in pre-seed funding, it has also added integration with non-banking sources to its services Organizations can now get insights from the payment gateway accounts of merchants around the country.
Engineering virality is difficult, especially on a small budget. But that’s just what abeg.app has done. Launching after almost two years in the works, the peer-to-peer fintech company has already made an indelible mark in the hearts of users.
Its innovative approach to the design experience of customers has been a talking point on social media. The application’s design taps into Nigeria’s giveaway culture with lighthearted copy like “boss, do giveaway” and “anon, epp me.”
With Abeg, you get a digital wallet that makes sending money and requesting money fun. The app allows users to send money using just the tags of the recipient – a first for Nigerian fintech solutions.
Despite being just a few weeks old, inside sources say Abeg already has over 5000 users who have performed transactions running into millions of Naira. And that’s just the first part.
A cursory glance at the application shows that there’s much more on the way. Soon, users will also be able to make contributions with friends towards mutual goals and create crowdfunding projects which members of the public can participate in.
Abeg has been such a revelation that early users already claim it is the fastest platform for P2P financial transfers in the country.
Two weeks after leaving Cars45, former CEO, Etop Ikpe, announced a new company – Autochek. While Autochek has not started operations, it is already making waves in the news. A week after the new company was founded, it acquired Cheki Nigeria and Ghana. Before its acquisition from ROAM Africa, Cheki was one of Nigeria’s top car selling websites.
While the nature of Etop Ikpe’s exit from Cars45 is still a topic for hot debate, Autochek looks like it has a bright future. One of the things the company is looking to address is making auto financing accessible to consumers who purchase used cars. The company plans to do this by standardising solutions around warranties and maintenance.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mr. Ikpe said,” We are really excited by this new opportunity to drive the African automotive space forward. Our aim is to create a one-stop-shop for consumers’ automotive needs, embedding technology at every stage of the process, thereby making the journey of car ownership easier for everyone.”
Although Plentywaka is not a newbie to the Nigerian market, it makes it into this edition of the Startup Watch for its achievements over the last year. On its one year anniversary in September, Plentwaka released its numbers for their first year. Over that period, the bus-hailing startup has completed over 190,000 trips with 40,000+ riders.
The e-hailing service is increasingly becoming a more popular choice for commuters in Lagos and Abuja. The success of the company has been put down to its focus on customer comfort, convenience, and safety.
The company also raised $300k in venture funding from Microtraction and two other investors for their pre-seed round in the third quarter of the year. This was despite their services being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Startup Watch is our column where we highlight startups doing interesting things in their various fields. If you have interesting news on startups, send it to us at [email protected]