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All posts by Paul Adepoju

  • MasterCard’s Start Path programme to support African startups

    MasterCard recently announced that startups in Nigeria and other African countries can apply for its Start Path Global programme -- a six-month partnership initiative for startups that extends its existing footprint to a greater number of countries globally in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Over the past 18 months, Start Path has provided a variety of operational support, partnership, or investment for over 40 startups that are developing the next generation of commerce solutions, including Nymi, ZenCard, BillHop and Gone. Furthermore, Start Path Global has been designed to put the startup first which means a startup will no...

  • Q&A with AgroInfoTech on building real tech solutions for Nigeria

    No one doubts the booming status of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria, but taking a closer look at where the action is happening would reveal that much of the noise is being made by players in the ecommerce space, followed by education, and so on. Strangely though, little is really happening in the agricultural space. That was until I met Oluwajoba Ayo Okediji, the founder and director of AgroInfoTech. In an interview, we spoke extensively on what is happening in the agricultural-tech space, the prospects and ongoing plans to launch Nigeria’s incubation hub for agriculture-focused tech startups. Ventureburn: Why is tech...

  • Q&A: What Africa needs to build the next Facebook

    I recently sat down with Seedstars World’s Marcello Schermer (pictured middle) and Gregory Pepper (pictured left). We spoke extensively about the startup pitching competition and how it's supporting emerging companies from all over the globe. We then dissected the startup ecosystem in Africa, focusing on what it will take for Africa to launch the next Facebook. Sourcing tech startups from around the globe, Seedstars World is currently making its rounds through 16 African countries. The top company from each country will stand a chance of winning a US$500 000 equity investment in Switzerland next year. Ventureburn: What is the business model...

  • Who will win the battle of Nigeria’s online classifieds?

    First it was ecommerce with Jumia and Konga fighting neck-to-neck, then the attention went to the online marketplace space with the likes of Kaymu, this is followed by learning -- remember PrepClass, Tuteria, Tutor.ng, NearTutors. It now appears that the latest space that foreign-founded companies are eyeing in Nigeria is the classified ads. In other words, the battle to create Nigeria’s Craigslist is on. Classified ads are not entirely new in Nigeria thanks to the popularity of Craigslist in the country -- especially among the early internet savvy demographic. However, the inability of Craigslist to fully localise its platform to allow...

  • Q&A: How Kaymu is helping thousands of Nigerian SMEs move to the cloud

    Ecommerce is a big deal in Nigeria. Several SMEs are considering it as an option to reach bigger markets without expanding their office space. But the complexity of the technology behind running an efficient ecommerce platform, in addition to the high cost of marketing, make ecommerce a future pain for SMEs. But Kaymu, an online marketplace, makes it possible for SMEs to realise their ambitions. Over 40 000 SMEs in various parts of the country are already on the platform, and thousands are joining each week. I caught up with Evangeline Wiles, who's the MD of Kaymu Nigeria, recently at the...

  • Supermart.ng: Nigerian ecommerce industry needs more players

    Even though ecommerce platforms are springing up everywhere across Nigeria, an expert believes the country still needs more players in the indsutry. This notion is against strong concerns about the saturated nature of the ecommerce market in Nigeria with so many big players already competing for their share of the current online shopping boom. According to Raphael Afaedor, the managing director of Supermart.ng, the ecommerce market in Nigeria is not yet saturated and there is need for more entrants. Speaking on the state of the ecommerce in Nigeria, Afaedor said that it's important for each of the businesses to carve a...

  • 5 lessons on Nigeria’s ecommerce space from HouseholdMax

    Last Friday, I attended the official launch of HouseholdMax Online, Nigeria’s premier domestic item ecommerce site. It was an entirely new experience for me to see a Nigerian homegrown ecommerce company launching big. It made me realise there are some serious lessons for startups and ecommerce stakeholders in the country and by extension, other parts of Africa. For those who don't know, HouseholdMax is not a conventional African ecommerce startup. It doesn't complain about having no money to spend, few investors and the usual rhetoric. Instead, it is owned by Aisha Tinubu who is the wife of Trojan Estates boss Kunle Tinubu...

  • Nigeria’s Talking Bookz wants to become Africa’s top audiobook store

    Last week was a great one for Nigerian startups -- for the second year in a row, they filled up more slots at DEMO Africa than any other African country. If that wasn't enough, one of the eight startups representing Nigeria at the continental event quickly followed up with seed investment from the co-founder of one of Africa’s leading hotel booking platforms, Jovago. The startup is Talking Bookz -- an online audiobooks publisher and retailer. According to its co-founder Damilola Aransiola, its recent achievements can be attributed to the simple pain point the business is trying to solve. "Everybody understands the business,"...

  • 10 finalists emerge for Seedstars World Lagos challenge

    Global startup competition Seedstars World has revealed 10 Nigerian startups that will pitch their hearts out later in Lagos this week. The winner of the Nigerian event will be invited to Switzerland where it will represent the country in the final round February 2016. The ultimate wining startup will win up to US$500 000 in equity investment. With a focus on emerging markets, the Seedstars World challenge is taking place in 50 countries this year. Past participants have raised and estimated total of US$20-million and created more than 360 jobs. Marcello Schermer, the regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World, adds that...

  • Inside Nigeria’s bustling startup world — where the real ‘hustlers’ live

    Earlier this week, Ventureburn unveiled DEMO Africa’s top 30 startups for 2015. While attention is being given to Ivory Coast whose startup scene is making its debut this year on the DEMO Africa stage, the fact that no one was surprised to see Nigeria having more startups than any other country this year, just like last year, is giving credence to the notion that the startup ecosystem in Nigeria is booming. And it’s not just because of Nigeria’s large population. Below are a few of key characteristics I've picked up over the years, defining the West African country's as one of...

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