Starting and running a startup in Nigeria today is no mean feat. While keeping the startup profitable, founders must also deal with salient issues such as legal compliance, workplace regulations and user satisfaction.
With the ongoing global widespread inflation and economic uncertainty, Nigerian startups are finding it harder to receive investment and scale their startups. In the African startup ecosystem, there’s been a whirlwind of lay-offs, shutdowns and pay cuts.
But in spite of these difficult times, some Nigerian startups are innovating and expanding their operations. These startups have raised investments, increased their employee headcounts and boosted their revenue.
To compile the list, we used the following methodologies: the amount raised in 2022, employee growth rate, and overall mission statement. For the amount raised, we used BD Funding Tracker to measure, although we tracked from September 2021 to September 2022 to ensure a 12 months period and the threshold is $15 million.
Then we used Growjo’s—a list and database of the fastest growing companies—analysis to measure the estimated annual revenue and employee growth rate.
The leading startups are Bamboo, Moove Africa, Reliance Health, Flutterwave, Umba, Omnibiz, Vendease, TeamApt, Interswitch and Yellow Card.
Bamboo provides Nigerians and other Africans with worldwide investment opportunities. The startup also offers in-app tutorials on investment basics to help new and amateur users understand investments.
The startup raised $15 million in January 2022 and then another $17.4 million in March 2022 and experienced an employment growth rate of 68%. Founded in 2020 by Yanmo Omorogbe and Richmond Bassey, Bamboo's estimated annual revenue is currently pegged at $7.4 million per year.
2. Moove Africa
Moove, the world's first mobility fintech, provides vehicles to drivers of ride-hailing apps, logistics and mass transportation services at a weekly rental rate. Cars financed by Moove have completed trips in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi and Ibadan, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Moove's mission is democratising vehicle ownership by employing a revenue-based vehicle financing model. In 2022, the platform raised more than $135 million and expanded its operation to India. Moove Africa’s employee growth rate within the time frame has increased by 176% and the estimated annual revenue is currently $152.5 million per year.
3. Reliance Health
Reliance Health uses technology to make healthcare more affordable and accessible in emerging markets. Through an integrated approach that includes affordable health insurance, telemedicine and a combination of partner and other proprietary healthcare facilities.
Reliance Health uses technology to make healthcare accessible and affordable. Through an integrated approach that includes affordable health insurance, telemedicine and a combination of partner and proprietary healthcare facilities.
Matthew Mayaki, Opeyemi Olumekun, and Femi Kuti founded the startup in 2016. The platform has raised $40 million. It has also experienced an employment growth rate of 9%. Reliance Health estimated annual revenue stands at $48.4 million.
Flutterwave is one of the fastest-growing payments companies in the world. Since its inception, Flutterwave has processed close to $2 billion in payments and 25 million transactions across over 33 African countries where it currently operates.
Flutterwave’s mission is to help businesses build secure and seamless payment experiences for their customers across Africa. Founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola, and Adeleke Adekoya.
Flutterwave raised $250 million in funding in 2022 to bring its total funding to about $475 million. The African Unicorn has experienced employment growth of 25% and has an estimated annual revenue of $92.8M per year.
Umba is a digital banking platform offering free bank accounts and financial services to customers. Its mobile app enables customers to pay bills, get free instant peer-to-peer money transfers and get loans.
Umba’s mission is to make banking free across Africa, empowering customers to control their financial lives by ensuring financial services are affordable, efficient, and widely available.
Umba was founded in 2018 by former Munster rugby players, Barry O'Mahony, and Tiernan Kennedy. The digital banking platform raised $15 million and had an employment growth rate of 52%. Umba has an estimated revenue of $11.8 million per annum.
Omnibiz connects fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) manufacturers to retailers by digitising the supply chain stakeholders. The e-commerce startup provides a unified B2B distribution platform powered by technology.
Founded in 2019 by Deepankar Rustagi, Omnibiz is connecting retailers in Nigeria and Ghana. Omnibiz raised $15 million in 2022 and experienced an employment growth rate of 81%. Omnibiz estimated annual revenue is $81.4 million.
The startup’s mission is to maximise the return on investment of every retailer through a user-friendly platform. Retailers can place orders at their convenience and have goods delivered to their doorstep at no cost.
Vendease is an online marketplace for Africa's food service businesses. The Y Combinator-backed digital platform procurement engine makes it easier for restaurants in 8 cities across Nigeria and Ghana to buy food supplies at considerably cheaper rates than open market prices, with guaranteed 12-hour delivery.
Vendease was founded in January 2020 by four friends: Tunde Kara (CEO), Olumide Fayankin (COO), Gatumi Aliyu (CPO) and Wale Oyepeju (CTO). The startup raised $30 million in 2022 and keeps expanding its operations.
The company has an estimated annual revenue of $19.2m and currently has an employee workforce of 188 people. Vendease is enabling the efficient flow of food across the continent, from point of production to point of consumption.
TeamApt is a digital banking and payment platform designed to ease the way banks, people, and businesses perform and process financial transactions. The company enables businesses and individuals to manage money more efficiently.
Founded in 2015 by Tosin Eniolorunda, TeamApt raised upward of $50 million in 2022. The payments platform currently has a workforce of about 589 employees. TeamApt generated over $100 million in annualized revenue in 2021.
Interswitch is a provider of integrated digital payment and transaction processing services intended for individuals, government, banks and institutions. The company's platform facilitates the electronic circulation of money.
One of the oldest and biggest African payments companies, Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe. Interswitch raised $110 million in funding in 2022 to bring its total funding to about $474.5 million.
Interswitch has a workforce of more than 1,400 employees. The startup’s mission is to create technology solutions that connect and empower individuals, businesses, and communities.
10. Yellow Card
Yellow Card is a digital currency exchange platform designed to turn local currency into bitcoins to ease the process of money transfer. The startup partners with local merchants, vendors, and convenience stores to exchange their vouchers for cryptocurrency.
The startup founded in 2019 by Chris Maurice raised $40 million in 2022 after it raised $15 million in 2021 (the largest ever by an African cryptocurrency exchange). Currently, Yellow Card has a workforce of about 198 employees.
Yellow Card’s mission is to make cryptocurrency accessible anywhere and everywhere across the African continent.