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All posts by Paul Adepoju

  • Primecart’s bold attempt to dominate ecommerce in Nigeria through Shoprite

    During the festive period, public holidays, and those notable days that are not recognised in Nigeria's calendar, people often troop en masse to quite a number of places, with one of these being Shoprite. But not every Nigerian waits until the holidays to visit Shoprite – as a matter of fact, a sizeable proportion of the corporate demographic in Nigeria relies on Shoprite for their daily living. "I spend more than 60% of my monthly earnings on Shoprite," said Dayo, an Abuja-based Nigerian high-earning medical professional. There are more people like Dayo whose daily lives revolve around Shoprite; from the food...

  • Nigerian-founded social networking startup Tutlub is creating an online Muslim family

    These days, it’s really hard being a Muslim in Nigeria and elsewhere since no matter what you do, you have to answer questions on terrorism and your religion. This could be the reason why some Muslims are quiet on social media on this subject and other critical topics. The silence is so strong that many are beginning to assume that social media is haram (sin) in Islam. But Yusuf Hassan, founder and CEO of Tutlub disagrees. Hassan might just have found a way to create fruitful and open online dialogue. “Islamic scholars and Imams’ position on social media is that...

  • Nigeria’s top 5 startup moments of 2015

    Barring last-minute announcements, it is safe to say the curtains have been drawn on the 2015 startup year in Nigeria. Like previous years, the startup ecosystem in Africa’s powerhouse continues to record year-on-year growth and 2015 was not an exception as new products and startups were launched in the outgoing year. There were also several developments in the startup space that got everybody talking for an unusually long duration. At the outset of 2015, many industry watchers were not sure how the industry would play out considering the fact that it was an election year in Nigeria and the result...

  • Nitestay’s attempt to stand out in Nigeria’s highly competitive hotel booking space

    Even though ecommerce giants Jumia and Konga are still Nigeria’s foremost startup companies, attention is gradually being extended to other sectors as 2015 saw the launch of quite a number of well-equipped startups emerge in non-retail sectors. A sector that saw surge in the number of new companies is the online hotel booking space which used to be dominated by the likes of Mark Essien’s Hotels.ng and Rocket Internet-backed Jovago. But that’s not all. There is also Hotelnownow, SlimTrader also secured US$1-million to grow its online booking platform and several similar services are expected to be rolled out in the...

  • Entrepreneurship training for African startups? Stakeholders disagree

    While entrepreneurship is an essential aspect of the economy of most African countries with entrepreneurs acquiring knowledge from different sources, tech entrepreneurs in West Africa that desire to get empowered and supported to build their products and launch into the market desire to do that at either of the region’s two leading tech entrepreneurship incubators -- the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) located in Yaba area of Lagos, or Accra-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). Even though these two incubators are both supporting tech entrepreneurs to build tech solutions for critical problems in their respective regions, their approaches are largely different....

  • Africa Internet Group face shake-up with ecommerce MDs in Nigeria

    Major ecommerce backer Africa Internet Group (AIG) has quietly faced an overhaul of leadership of its online shopping plays in Nigeria. Already, the Rocket Internet affiliate has completed the replacement of the heads of Kaymu, Jovago, Easy Taxi and Lamudi. Interestingly, the heads of these companies are choosing to remain in Nigeria. In October, Marek Zmysłowski was replaced to ensure his new enterprise, Jovago, becomes the next big thing in online hotel bookings in Africa. And with the support of AIG, the platform is on its way to achieving that. But several weeks ago, news emerged that he had been...

  • Beyond insurance: How TopCheck aims to transform Nigeria’s financial services industry

    In a country where online sale of services is still arguably unpopular compared to retail and other services, TopCheck is attempting to achieve profitability by selling financial services to Nigerians. And the company is starting with insurance specifically car insurance. But the company’s journey did not start in any of the incubation centres or skyscrapers on Victoria Island, TopCheck’s was essentially created on the West African leg of the AMPION Venture Bus by Thomas von Pilar, and his co-founder. According to him, he had already been attracted to the West African market after conducting research. “I knew before that West...

  • CEO of Supermart.ng Raphael Afaedor on the state of Nigeria’s ecommerce

    The last time I spoke to Raphael Afaedor in person, he was still the co-founder of Jumia, his face and that of Tunde Kehinde’s had just been on Forbes and they were the focus of the foreign press including CNN. I was able to drag him aside in the hall where Jumia was celebrating its first year anniversary and when I asked him what was next for ecommerce in Nigeria, he said the focus will continually be on satisfying the customer -- even if he or she expresses interest in buying cows online. He subsequently left Jumia and founded...

  • Governance and startups — the Ethiopia experience

    Last month, Seedstars World held its first challenge in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa and the event featured eleven of the country’s best startups. AhadooTec’s Fidel which is Ethiopia's first mobile learning platform, won the competition. And last Monday, as my taxi slowly left the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, I began to ponder on why Ethiopia -- which is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeri -- was just having its first mobile learning platform in 2015! Perhaps the Ethiopian calendar, which is seven...

  • Nigeria online booking space set to heat up with TravelBeta launch

    Ex-Jumia and Konga executive Onyeka Akumah and others have launched TravelBeta ("beta" pronounced as pidgin English for "better"), a platform that seeks to disrupt Nigeria's online booking space. Akumah is joined by Wole Ayorinde, who has worked in Silicon Valley for 13 years and is TravelBeta's Chief Technology Officer. Another member of the team is David Asuku, the company's operations manager who for the past 15 years has worked with TravelBeta's major competitors -- Wakanow and Holloway Travels. The new platform will seek to compete in a space dominated by industry heavyweights including Wakanow, Travelstart, Hotels.ng and Jovago. But the...

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