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All posts by Paul Adepoju

Paul Adepoju
Paul Adepoju is a media entrepreneur, published author and award-winning Nigeria-based freelance journalist. He speaks regularly at major African technology events including NigeriaCom and Nigeria eHealth Forum.
  • Despite slow growth of tech ecosystem, those in Gambia remain optimistic

    Touching down at the Banjul International Airport, a first-time visitor would be impressed with the petit nature of the continent’s fifteenth least populated country. At the arrival lobby where the ATM machines are, several banners of telecoms companies encourage travellers to choose their network as preferred roaming service. Getting an active line is free at the airport and its activation takes few minutes of registration and Banjul’s streets and main roads are lined with billboards advertising various offerings by telecoms providers and internet service providers. With several operators and operational ISPs, one would expect basic tech devices such as the PoS machine...

  • Still stuck in school — NITDA’s awkward romance with Nigerian startups [opinion]

    When many Nigerian founders of startups are asked to list their major challenges, they often mention the lack of support from the Nigerian government. While this is a widely accepted position in the country’s startup ecosystem, government officials and politicians at all levels believe the industry is getting more than enough support from the government -- which set up the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The agency has been tasked with developing the country’s ICT industry. How it perhaps started So how did it come about? The theory is that some years ago some international tech experts visited Nigeria's then president Olusegun Obasanjo at the...

  • Online betting may be on rise in Nigeria but startups still put off by challenges

    The English Premier League enjoys a religious following in Nigeria, likewise the Spanish La Liga. But for some fans, watching the game is not enough -- they must also put money on it. This has given rise to a burgeoning betting sector in the West African country. From just one betting company 10 years ago the betting sector in Nigeria has grown to over 20, according to one online list. One of these is NairaSpin an online betting platform, founded by Balogun Danjuma. Recently several industry players were shocked when Danjuma announced on Facebook that he would be shutting down his startup 9jabookings.com and...

  • Q&A: Taxify reveals plans to take on Uber in Nigeria by being more ‘driver friendly’

    The ride-hailing sector may remain attractive in Lagos, with 15 ride-hailing apps competing for a portion of Nigeria's biggest city's vast taxi market, but until now only Uber seems to have achieved some success. Estonian ride-hailing app Taxify, which arrived in the city in November, aims to change this. Uchenna Chukwuebuka Okafor, Taxify’s Operation Manager in Lagos told Ventureburn how the app has its eye focused on being a more driver-friendly app. Ventureburn: What is different about Taxify in comparison to similar services? Uchenna Chukwuebuka Okafor: We treat driver-partners better so that they can offer high quality service to customers. Our commission (that the company...

  • Game-changing lessons African startups can learn from Snapchat’s IPO

    On March 2, Snap Inc, the company that owns messaging app Snapchat, was officially listed on the US stock market for US$17 per share – a feat that was described as the biggest since Facebook went public. With the initial public offering (IPO), the company was valued at US$24-billion while founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy became multi-billionaires. Not many knew one tiny but crucial piece of information about the achievement: the company has yet to make profit. It also had an arguably bigger problem in that its young users are unhappy and are switching to other apps, such as...

  • Q&A: How FindADriver247 carved its niche in an Uber-dominated market

    With Uber waxing stronger and dominating the taxi tech space in Nigeria, tech startup founders are striving to find other opportunities within the sector. Considering the limited nature of the country's on-demand-driving space, it perhaps explains why Uber continues to be the only significant player. But a startup has emerged and is striving to solve a different problem: hiring drivers. In a chat with Ventureburn, Jonathan Ikpenu, a co-founder of FindADriver247.com, explains the company's idea and unique strategy in a market that currently has one dominant player. Ventureburn: What is your background in startups and tech? Jonathan Ikpenu: I have no direct experience in...

  • Ask An Expert, Nigerian mobile directory capitalising on a critical Google limitation

    One of the things I do when I'm bored is to check what people search for online. Recently, I typed "how to" into Google's search bar and wasn't at all surprised with the results. I concluded that many Google users don't know how to kiss, make love longer, make love all night, or turn a man on. It appears as if this tech giant has answers to everything – but does it? Google has become a repository of knowledge, but when it comes to real-time personal problems, it may fail the user. WikiHow and Wikipedia also have limited usage and users...

  • Ten app: the bold attempt to digitise tithe, offerings in Nigeria

    In Nigeria, the first week in August is usually a very busy one particularly along the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, otherwise known as "Jesus Highway." This is due to a large number of people -- usually millions -- attending the annual convention of some of the country's biggest churches with camps in the area. When prayers are said and sermons are preached, worshippers pay their tithe and offerings – two contributions that have allowed churches to continue to grow, expand and remain relevant at all levels.As sacred as tithe and offering are in Christianity, a new app As sacred as tithe and...

  • Nigeria’s online money lending space nears disruption

    In January, Ventureburn reported that Nigerian gift card company SureGifts had rolled out SureCredit, a unique way to obtain loans. Even though many industry stakeholders were conflicted over Nigeria's readiness for loans in the online space, platforms such as Paylater.ng quickly caught the public eye. As extensively useful as credit in general is, the system has been marred by various laws and flaws, presenting barriers to loan seekers. These factors have made the services inaccessible to those really needing to utilise them. This has forced loan/credit seekers in Nigeria to look elsewhere, with some seeking alternatives online. "No one that I know of is...

  • Nigeria’s NetPlusDotCom taps Etisalat to rollout STORM app mPOS solution

    A few weeks ago, Ventureburn focused on how African telecoms operators can have a mutually beneficial innovation-driven relationship with startups specifically by making their APIs startup friendly. This week, Nigeria’s NetPlusDotCom, announced a partnership with telecoms giant Etisalat Nigeria to deliver the STORM app. Thus further expanding how telecoms companies can get actively involved in the growth of the tech space -- this time, fintech. NetPlusDotCom is a Nigerian early stage financial technology company and payment solution provider that decided to partner with Etisalat to roll out STORM -- which is an innovative inventory, store management and self-service ticketing solution via...