There are over 100 Nigerian startups—these include startups that are headquartered in Nigeria, Nigeria-focused and owned by Nigerians.
The de-facto database of private and public companies—Crunchbase—classified 241 organisations as Nigerian startups, while Weetracker's The Base —that offers similar service—puts the number of startups located in Nigeria and owned by Nigerians at 107. Conversely, Techpoint's Base record shows over 710 registered Nigerian startups.
Indeed, there are a lot of Nigerian startups solving problems and doing exciting things.
To spotlight some of these startups, I spoke to over a score of techpreneurs, investors, tech analysts and enthusiasts to identify some of the startups to look out for this year (and possibly the decade). I asked them: "Which startups are getting you excited? Which startups are you looking out for in 2020?"
Expectedly, their responses varied and featured many popular tech startups and some not-so-popular ones. They named startups operating in sectors such as fintech, edtech, renewable energy, mobility and logistics.
Related Article: These are the best tech companies to work for in Nigeria
Although the Nigerian techosystem isn't where it supposed to be, its trajectory is commendable. Since the first set of internet service providers in Nigeria were licensed in 1996, the techosystem has grown in leaps and bounds. So much so that the country has now produced a unicorn—Interswitch.
With this precedence set by Interswitch, which became a unicorn after 15+ years, the next unicorn could emerge sooner than later.
What Nigerian startups are y'all looking out for in 2020?— Benjamin Dada (@DadaBen_) January 17, 2020
12 Nigerian startups to watch out for in 2020
This is benjamindada.com's list of Nigerian startups to watch out for in 2020 (and possibly this decade). It comprises of two edtech startups, six fintechs/wealthtechs, two logistics startups, one healthtech, and one lifestyle startup.
Eden is a concierge service for homes. Not a typical tech startup, but it's "a tech-enabled, human-powered service that takes over the running of your home so you can focus on the things that truly matter in life."
In short, as one techpreneur told me, "Eden is the affordable Quintessentially made for Africans, by Africans."
Eden was co-founded in 2019 by a co-founder of Andela—Nadayar Enegesi (CEO), and two of his other former Andela colleagues—Prosper Otemuyiwa (CTO) and Silm Momoh (Product Lead).
When a serial entrepreneur like Sim Shagaya, founder of DealDey and Konga, launches a new venture, the techosystem would definitely be watching out for it.
uLesson platform would allow learners, mostly secondary school students, to experience personalized learning, take mock tests, and assess their performance and learning progress with uLesson detailed analysis dashboard.
The Jos-based startup is the pageant everyone is checking out in the edtech sector. Not only because Sim is the chaperone, but also because of its model.
Related Article: How uLesson wants to revolutionize learning for Nigerian teenagers
Gradely is another edtech startup founded in 2019. Similar to uLesson in that it targets secondary school learners, but it's uniqueness is in the use of data analytics and algorithms to provide adaptive learning.
With gradely.ng adaptive learning, teachers and parents can ensure their ward does not have learning gap in any subject.
So far, Gradely has been deployed in 60 schools, raised about $35,000 (₦12.7 million) seed funding, and it is currently part of Facebook Accelerator 2019 Cohort. The CEO of Gradely, Boye Oshinaga, is also a co-founder and executive director of retail at Riby Finance.
4. Overwood Capital
Like Eden, Overwood Capital is more tech-enabled than being a pure tech company. is a tech-enabled safety-first investment company that allow "regular people to access high-yield investment instruments."
Within the two leading to its official launch in January 2020, Overwood said it gained 491 users, did 321 transactions valued at about ₦100 million and recorded ₦625,347 interest.
Overwood was founded by Dr Tayo Oyedeji, who serves as the CEO and chief investment officer.
5. reQuid Technologies
reQuid is "the Amazon of safe investment." Its goal is put "all your agro investment in one place" so you can easily manage and liquidate your investment.
Launched in beta in September 2019, reQuid has garnered about 1,000+ users. It is also noteworthy that reQuid emerged winner at the first-ever X-Kathon organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), receiving the grand prize of ₦5 million.
Co-founded by Felix Imafidon, reQuid also emerged the first runner-up at the maiden edition of Zenith Bank's Hackathon last year and received ₦6 million prize-money.
With nine years of experience in operating as an investment and advisory firm, Sankore Securities Limited launched wealth.ng in 2019.
While reQuid aggregates only agro investments, wealth.ng pools together different investment instruments such as treasury bills, bonds, mutual funds, stocks, real estate and agro investment.
The founder of Sankore, Titi Odunfa-Adeoye, has worked with top financial institutions such as PwC, KPMG, Goldman Sachs and Quantum Zenith.
First launched in November 2018 as Cashestate—a platform that allows users to invest naira in dollar-denominated assets and earn interest in the same, it rebranded in November 2019 to launch Rise Vest.
Unlike Cashestate that limited users option to investing in dollar-denominated real estate investment, Rise provides more options and allow users to invest in US venture capital, real estate, stocks, and eurobonds.
The CEO and founder of Rise Vest, Eleanya Eke Urum, also co-founded BuyCoins and has worked with PwC a a financial analyst. So far, the company has raised $62,000 (₦22.5 million) in pre-seed funding.
Bamboo is also a wealthtech—a digital investment platform—like Rise. Bamboo is on a mission to enable the average Nigerian to have access to global investment opportunities, mainly the American stock market.
Bamboo was co-founded by Yanmo Omorogbe and Richmond Bassey, and launched sometime in November 2019.
Also launched in 2019, Chaka is a digital investment platform that allows users to invest in foreign stock market, such as NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the local bourse—Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Chaka provides a two-way opportunity for both local and foreign investors to invest in any stock market. It is led by Tosin Osibodu.
Vinsighte is one of the startups in Facebook Accelerator 2019 cohort. It also exhibited at the 2020 Innovation Showcase Week.
Co-founded in 2017 by Kolawole Oluwatomisin, Erioluwa Morenikeji, Caleb Oyolola and Dairo Tosin—a team of University of Ibadan students, Vinsighte uses computer vision and sonar technology to enable anyone that is visually impaired to navigate their environment independently.
So far, Vinsighte has launched two solutions, namely, Viri—a guiding aid—and Visis—a smart reading glasses. Caleb said they are currently working on releasing another version of their smart reading glasses later this year.
11. Neohaul Technologies (Haulr)
Haulr is an AI-powered platform that tracks trucking operations in real-time to enhance communication between logistics companies and their partners, as well as curb cargo theft and reduce cost of transporting goods.
Launched in 2018 and led by Bright Williams, Haulr emerged second at the maiden edition of Zenith Bank Hackathon and it's part of Facebook Accelerator 2019 cohort.
12. WeMove Technologies
WeMove.co is technology company that builds solution for the transportation sector.
Co-founded in 2017 by Celestine and Chima Ezeokoye and Majid Tokurah, WeMove currently launched in Zambia, increasing the number of countries where it operates to four—Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
WeMove platform allows users to find and hire any vehicle they want, supports vehicle owners in connecting with customers, and helps transportation companies to manage their fleet of vehicles.
WeMove also partner with adjacent sector, such as Tourism, that can benefit from efficient transportation system. Its platform—Rally—allows organisations to offer discounted tours to their staff as an incentive.