No doubt 2016 was the year of technology in Nigeria. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invested a whopping $24 million in Andela — the startup that wants to put African software engineers on the global map. This was the largest ever investment in a Nigerian startup. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, visited Nigeria for the first time and made some ground-breaking works. Payment giant, Interswitch group made a N50 million acquisition of Vanso, another payment company that provides financial technology, mostly to banks. This acquisition will see Interswitch gain competitive strength from Vanso’s internet banking, mobile payment and messaging technology.
Here are 6 Nigerian tech companies that are doing well and are positioned to have major impact in 2017
Who are they? Lydia is a new digital bank that wants to offer small and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria unsecured loans of between $500 and $15,000.
Why we should watch them in 2017? According to a 2014 Access to Financial Service Survey, 36.9 million Nigerian adults are unbanked. Also thousands of smes in Nigeria are unable to secure loans due to lack of collateral and high interest rate. Hence, Lydia’s option of providing unsecured loan will no doubt help boost smes in Nigeria in 2017.
Who are they? Flutterwave is a new payment solution that wants to make it seamless for individuals and small businesses to accept and receive payment in whatever form they choose.
Why we should watch them in 2017? Flutterwave is already present in 3 countries; Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. Flutterwave has processed over $20 million in transactions to date for clients that include Paystack, Page Microfinance Bank, and Access Bank. With the growth of the economy in 2017, flutterwave is bound to increase its revenue and expand into all African cities.
Who are they? SuntrustBank is a first full-fledged technology bank focused on electronic channels by offering telephone, mobile and internet banking services.It is the first commercial bank in Nigeria that will focus on technolgy to provide financial services to Nigerians.
Why we should watch them in 2017? SunTrust Bank hopes to be the most cost-effective bank in Nigeria. It opened last year with so much expectation. Its technologically driven strategy will help it zoom past its more branch-oriented counterparts. With the increase in smartphones, reduction in data fees and faster internet connection, it is very clear SunTrust Bank would be a clear winner.
Who are they? Paystack is a complete payment solution that offers businesses everything they need to accept payments.
Why we should watch them in 2017? Paystack recently got $1.3 investment from Tencent, Comcast Ventures and Singularity Investments and other notable investors. The money would be used to aggressively push paystack into the Nigerian markets in 2017.
Who are they? WhoGoHost is currently the biggest local web Hosting company in Nigeria. With currently over 7,000 hosting accounts on its Servers.
Why we should watch them in 2017? WhoGoHost has retained its spot as the biggest web hosting company in Nigeria. 2017 will see Whogohost grow its customer base significantly as Nigerians find it expensive using foreign web hosting companies due to the high exchange rates.
Who are they? Palm play is a digital store that allows users to connect and download contents. Palmplay has both online and offline store. The various contents include games, applications, movies, music, wallpapers, comics etc.
Why we should watch them in 2017? Palmplay’s uniqueness is its offline store where you can download contents for free using its free hotspots scattered in several locations. Palmplay has gained large coverage in Lagos and Ibadan and would be expanding to several cities in Nigeria in 2017.
No doubt 2017 will see the explosion of Nigerian tech companies. However, the biggest winners are those that are able to form formidable partnerships, cut cost significantly, develop better products and adopt competitive strategies for growth.
Seyi King is Founder of Onegoodcopy, a copywriting agency. He helps individuals, brands and startups craft high-converting marketing copies to boost their businesses. Reach out to him at Jostking5@gmail.com