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All posts by Paul Adepoju

  • Ghana’s social events startup Suba wins #MWA2015 app competition

    Social events startup Suba emerged as winner of the Mobile West Africa 2015 App Developer Competition recently. Out of five finalists Suba was voted the top app by delegates to the Mobile West Africa 2015 conference held in Lagos, Nigeria. The winning startup got an iPad Air courtesy of appsafrica.com, high-end smartphone from Innjoo and gift card from SureGifts. Read more: SureGifts is Nigeria’s premier gift card startup targeting the corporate world In all, five startups emerged as finalists -- four from Nigeria and one (Suba) from Ghana. Suba pitched first at the final. Founded by Nelson Klutse and Eric Hackman, Suba was...

  • Nigeria gets localised website that helps you locate leisure spots

    Several months ago, Oyewole Kayode was in Ibadan, the ancient yet trend-setting Nigerian city located in the Yoruba-dominated southwestern part of the country. While he was there, a female friend called him and asked if they could hang out at a "very cool" place. He began a frantic search for a place the woman would love -- a place that was also cheap and within his lean budget. “So I went online and realised there was no single platform that chronicled details of cool places and how much it was going to cost me,” Kayode said. In the end, he couldn't hang out with the woman. Following...

  • 5 lessons African startups can learn from Nigeria’s president-elect

    It’s no longer news that Nigeria has a new President-elect, what is however new is the fact that he is actually the first person in the history of the country’s democracy -- and since independence -- to defeat an incumbent president. Even though he is more than 70 years old, his emergence as Nigeria’s new president from 29 May is filled with numerous lessons for startups in Nigeria, other parts of Africa and perhaps globally. 1. Giving up is not an option Abraham Lincoln used to be the poster politician for doggedness and not giving up. With the emergence of President...

  • Phonebook replacer Truecaller says mobile-first Africa shows great potential for growth

    The phonebook is a critical tool for billions of people who use it on a daily basis -- but despite all of today’s advanced technology, little has been done to make the mobile experience more intelligent, relevant and personal. Truecaller is a service that transforms the phonebook with a set of smart features to make it all of these three things. Co-founded by Nami Zarringhalam, Truecaller lets users identify unknown incoming calls -- they can block calls they don’t want to receive. Zarringhalam, who is also the company’s chief strategy officer, believes that since the service is available on all major mobile...

  • Microsoft, Mara and Fate Foundation launch Cloud Startup Academy in Nigeria

    Through its 4Afrika initiative, Microsoft yesterday officially announced its Cloud Startup Academy in partnership with Mara Mentor and Fate Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria. The initiative will provide beneficiaries with training on how to become entrepreneurs using cloud technologies. While introducing the project, Wemimo Adeniyi, director of small, mid-market solutions partners at Microsoft Nigeria, said the project seeks to identify and help develop startups in the country. She said it would also empower the youth who are creative and passionate about new technology. Speaking on the structure of the initiative, Habiba Balogun, who's the director of Fate Foundation, said a platform has...

  • Religion on the go: has PrayerBox found a real sweet spot in Nigeria?

    Out of Nigeria's estimated 173 million citizens, more than 40% are Christian. That means it's one of the countries with the highest density of Christians alongside Brazil, Mexico and the United States. It's also home to one of the world's youngest populations, and many of these citizens carry around mobile phones. How is technology helping churches adapt to these major trends? Could a new social media product be just what the industry is looking for? The Genesis Bambo Oyelaja is every church-going girl’s dream man -- a bad boy who loves the Lord. As a developer, he missed church services because he...

  • Missing out big time: 4 reasons why PayPal should commit to Nigeria right now

    PayPal has a one-sided relationship with Nigerians keen to transfer and accept cash online. So much so, that the popular digital wallet service is losing out on a massive potential market. Picture this: Chris is a Nigerian startup co-founder whose company recently secured a deal from a United Kingdom-based client. The client wanted to use the Nigerian-based platform to market his products. Following the completion of the project, the client said he could only pay via PayPal since he read about the commencement of PayPal operations in Nigeria. What he didn’t read was the part that said the service is...

  • Uber Nigeria: how the world’s sexiest startup is faring in Lagos

    In July 2014, Uber commenced operations in Lagos, Nigeria, a city notorious for its horrendous traffic jams. Despite that, the disruptive company's operations have boomed. At least that's according to Uber Lagos general manager Ebi Atawodi (pictured above). Exponential Growth Within six months, said Atawodi, Uber has recorded exponential growth in Nigeria in terms of demand and supply. There has been 10-times growth in the company’s supply within six months, which also means there are 10 times more Uber drivers in Lagos than the company had six months ago. In terms of demand, a hundred-fold growth has been recorded within the...

  • SureGifts is Nigeria’s premier gift card startup targeting the corporate world

    Many Nigerian startups have set up operations in Yaba, the district of Lagos most frequently compared to Silicon Valley and home to tech companies like Africa Internet Group (owners of Jumia, Kaymu and other booming startups). But at least one startup is operating elsewhere. And the founders of gift-card company SureGifts say they're doing just fine without easy access to accelerators and innovation hubs. I sat with the three co-founders -- -- Adeoye Ojo, Babafemi Lawal and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi -- at their operational base on Lagos Island, a few kilometres away from one of the major beaches in Nigeria. They said...

  • Are elearning startups Nigeria’s best hope for a new wave of innovation?

    This week, Lagos will host its third annual Social Media Week. Last year, it featured a Battlefield startup competition that was won by educational portal PrepClass. The startup was also named one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Africa for 2014 by FastCompany. Meanwhile, a few weeks ago one of Nigeria’s major telecoms companies, Airtel, announced the winners of its Catapult A Startup competition. One of them is Pass.ng, an online exams preparatory platform that helps students prepare for Nigeria's most important university admission and JAMB examinations, among others. The startup won one million Nigerian Naira (about US$5...

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