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All posts by Paul Adepoju

  • SureGifts makes gifting in Nigeria more personal with new site

    In March, Ventureburn reported that Nigeria’s premier gift card startup SureGifts was targeting the corporate world (they still are) with a unique bouquet of services – including a personalised way of rewarding loyal customers and hardworking employees. The startup’s unique selling point is its ability to allow gift recipients to choose what they really want, thereby putting an end to the era of unwanted gifts. Today however, the startup has upgraded its platform with the goal of making its already personal experience to become more personal. So what’s new? According to Adeoye Ojo, the co-Founder of SureGifts, the startup changed how gift...

  • Konga’s bold attempt to revolutionise online payments in Nigeria

    Nigeria boasts over 80 million mobile internet users doing all kinds of stuff online. Yet, as big as the Nigerian tech landscape is, getting customers to pay online is still a major obstacle for ecommerce. Before the country's two largest online shopping companies, Jumia and Konga, launched about three years ago, several entrepreneurs tried and failed to get Nigerians to embrace ecommerce. Today, leading ecommerce stores might have also failed if not introducing its cash on delivery payment option, which is the preferred payment choice for more than 70% of online transactions. During an exclusive interview with Jonathan Doerr, the managing...

  • Ampion Venture Bus: an NGO’s mission to drive impactful innovation in Africa

    There are various initiatives through which entrepreneurs can come together to ideate, develop, test and launch a product (and company) in Africa, but none of them sound as somehow crazy audacious as the impact driven non-profit, Ampion Venture Bus. Basically, participants are put on a bus which then travels through different countries, attending pitching events and building products as they go along. If you consider the bad roads and restrictive nature of a bus, you would think it is not the ideal way to facilitate innovation and ensuring overall efficiency, but co-founder of Ampion Jan Schafft thinks otherwise. He tells...

  • Ghana’s student app startup Flippy Campus is going to DEMO Africa 2015

    Flippy Campus, a made-in-Ghana product that aims to improve students' campus experience has become one of the first startups that will be pitching to investors at the one of the continent’s biggest startup event, DEMO Africa, held later this year in Lagos, Nigeria. The Flippy Campus team emerged the most outstanding startup among the ten that participated in the DEMO Africa pre-pitch event in Accra. According to the organisers, Flippy Campusu stood out and the team was able to convince the jury on their ability to link innovation, creativity and scalability. Students that follow Flippy Campus channels can access campus events...

  • Why Africa’s ‘largest retailer’ Jumia calls itself a startup

    In February, I put Nigeria’s two leading ecommerce giants Jumia Nigeria and Konga to the test. The results showed some concerns about the quality of customer care and order tracking services being offered by Jumia. Last Thursday, on the sideline of a major event held at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos, I spoke to Jonathan Doerr who's the managing director of Jumia Nigeria on the company that he describes as the largest ecommerce platform in Africa -- and the continent’s largest retailer. Even though many Africans see Jumia as a very big ecommerce company that is competing...

  • Are carpooling services Nigeria’s next big thing?

    In March, I spoke to the country manager of "the world’s sexiest startup", Uber, on how the company is faring in Nigeria. Among other things, Ebi Atawodi said the company is planning to introduce a carpooling service where individuals can use an Uber ride, consequently lowering cost. This is basically what Nigeria’s latest transport Jekalo is all about. The founders launched the company on 28 May mainly through a newsletter and social media. Its apparent novelty really got a lot of people talking about it, including social media influencers making me wonder how many of those that talked about it...

  • Wella Health: Charting course for digital health startups in Nigeria

    In Nigeria, very few professionals enjoy job security like doctors. This is why it is not every day that you meet someone no longer thrilled by the intrigues of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the emergency room or the beautiful sights of couples hugging their newborn baby. It is not easy to leave the hospital environment to become an entrepreneur, armed with nothing but an idea and hoping to attract enthusiastic users and endear investors with big bucks. This is exactly what Ikpeme Neto did when he took off his ward coat, boxed his stethoscope, bought a one-way ticket to Nigeria and decided to...

  • Q&A with MoboFree CEO on Africa’s fast-growing mobile marketplace

    MoboFree is an African-based mobile marketplace with a social twist that allows people to buy, sell and swap products with each other. The goal for the startup-turned-growth-company is to position itself as Africa’s leading mobile scam-free marketplace while striving to favourably compete with a much richer OLX. I sat with the CEO and co-founder of MoboFree, Cristobal Alonso in Lagos, Nigeria. We spoke on matters arising including the present and future of MoboFree -- plus the difficult task of getting eight out 10 Africans to know what MoboFree is really all about. Ventureburn: What is the current status of MoboFree’s operations...

  • StudySearch connects African students with quality universities abroad

    Even though there is no official data on the number of Africans that are travelling abroad annually for postgraduate studies, it's expected to be high considering the increasing local interest in foreign education and the general belief that the quality of Africa’s education system is not as high as in Europe or North America -- even some parts of Asia. One of the biggest obstacles there is for those keen to study abroad is not only having access to the relevant information. It's about getting actual admission and eventually moving from Africa to the school’s hostel that's complicated and stressful....

  • Tips from a successful Ghanian exit: Q&A with Saya Mobile founder Robert Lamptey

    Last year, the Ghana-based developer of mobile messaging apps for feature phones, Saya Mobile, was acquired by Kirusa from the States. Founded in 2011, Saya has received wide exposure for its instant messaging app called Street Chat. The platform includes social network integration, location-based and group chat across multiple phone platforms including J2ME, Android and iOS. With a focus on over 30 high-growth markets in from Southeast Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa, Saya has become super popular by being responsible for cheap mobile messaging to people who do not have smartphones in emerging economies. We recently caught up with the company's ex-CEO and...

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