Photograph — AB2020

According to a 2019 Annual Investment Report on Africa’s tech startup ecosystem by WeeTracker, Nigerian tech startups got 50 percent of Africa’s venture fund in 2019. That translates to as much as $663.24 million out of the overall $1.34 billion raised in funding in the whole of Africa.

It was also projected that in 2020, the country may possibly retain its position at the top of the table given the consistent rise of tech startups in its economy. 

Barely a month after the release of this report, five Nigerian Tech startups – OkwuEco, HouseAfrica, LimeStart, ThankUcash, and Riby – have been selected to pitch at the Disrupt Africa Tech Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, alongside six others from within the continent. The startups were drawn from over 100 entries across Africa across multiple sectors including Edutech, Fintech, Proptech, Agritech, recruitment and waste management.  

OkwuEco seeks to enable users to trade their solid waste irrespective of location, while HouseAfrica helps Africans own shares in multiple properties. 

LimeStart, on the other hand, aims to aid financial inclusion for unbanked SMEs through digitized financial books and services. ThankUcash allows consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can be swapped for cash. Ruby’s goal focuses on providing a simple and smart financial platform that allows cooperatives, company groups, and individuals to manage their financial and saving activities.

The selected startups would be given a platform to pitch their innovative tech solutions before over 600 tech investors and stakeholders from across Africa. The summit would position them to connect with investors and venture capitalists who would help them gain funds for expansion. It would also help them connect with other startups who may want to partner with them for expansion in terms of geographical reach.  

Aside from the platform that the summit would provide to pitch their tech solutions, they would also be given access to attend other tech summits that would be happening concurrently. For Nigeria, this selection sets its tech ecosystem on a vibrant tone.

It should be noted that no Nigerian tech startup made it to the finals at the Disrupt Africa Tech Summit in 2019. Nevertheless, on the 2nd of January this year, the organizers placed 54Gene, a Nigerian tech startup that is building the first African DNA biobank, on its 2020 Must-Watch list after several achievements including securing a $4.5 million seed round barely a year after it started. 54Gene is now positioned to build the largest database of genomic and phenotypic consented data of Africans.  

Disrupt Africa Tech Summit is a tech conference that brings together stakeholders in the tech startup space across the continent to explore the opportunities and challenges within the ecosystem while showcasing Africa’s innovative entrepreneurial talent. It focuses on encouraging collaboration and creating connections between investors, corporations, stakeholders, and startups. 

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