6. Jobberman: Jobberman is West Africa’s No.1 jobs website. They help employers fill vacancies quickly and cost-effectively by giving them access to the most relevant pool of qualified job-seekers. The company has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The idea behind the company began in 2019 during the industrial strike when 3 students from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude, and Ayodeji Adewunmi came together to discuss the employment industry in Nigeria, after Ayodeji had read about the success story of Naukri.com in the book, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal. They saw a problem, which was the disorganized job market in the country, and with success stories from Naukri.com (top Indian jobs search engine), they decided to create a centralized platform that would connect job seekers with prospective employers. After bootstrapping for 2 years, the firm then got a $1m investment from Tiger Global Management. It has since grown to open a Ghanaian arm in 2012 when employers sought to recruit applicants in Ghana. The firm has grown massively since then and metamorphized to provide a full range of human resource services from direct recruitment on behalf of companies to candidate testing and career training. In April 2015, Jobberman was acquired for $10m by Ringier One Africa Media. As at August 2016, it had more than 1.5 million users and 30,000 employers on its platform.
7. Tizeti: Tizeti (wifi.com.ng) provides high-speed broadband internet to residences, businesses, events, conferences, and deploys public Wi-fi Hotspot at locations across Africa through the aid of its solar-powered base stations. The firm provides uncapped internet to users for less than $25 per month. Tizeti was borne out of a struggle to solve a personal problem, when co-founders, Kendall Ananyi and Ifeanyi Okonkwo, struggled to start their Netflix-type service in Nigeria due to high internet costs. As of 2013, a study conducted showed that a fixed broadband plan cost 39% of an average Nigerian’s monthly revenue. Kendall and Ifeanyi then combined funds and built Tizeti. It was launched as a niche internet service provider to estates in 2012 but relaunched in 2014 as wifi.com.ng to provide a cheap and fast internet solution. Subscriptions begin at ₦9500/month and are 30% cheaper than large telecos. The firm was bootstrapped from 2012 to 2017, barely 3 months after being accepted to Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 batch. They received $2.1m seed funding from a number of investors and a $3m Series A investment, led by 4DX Ventures in 2018. Tizeti has installed over 7000 public Wi-Fi hotspots within Nigeria with 150,000 users, and coverage up to 70% of Lagos. They are
partnering with Facebook to roll out hundreds of internet hotspots across Abuja, and aim to scale to other parts of Africa, starting with Ghana, through their Wifi.Africa platform.
8. Farmcrowdy: Farmcrowdy is Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform that empowers rural farmers by providing them with improved seeds, farm inputs, training on modern farming techniques and provides a market for the sale of their farm produce. This agritech startup connects small scale farmers with sponsors who invest in farm cycles, offering 6-25% returns on original sponsorships on crops like maize and rice to animals like poultry and cattle. The firm has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The firm started in November 2016, after Onyeka Akumah, CEO of Farmcrowdy, noticed how interested middle-class Nigerians were in agriculture, but were unable to operate a farm nor had the required knowledge. With interest and experience already running a farm, Onyeka sought to bridge the gap, and with help from his other co-founders, Akindele Phillips, Ifeanyi Anazodo, Jimoh Maiyegun, and Tope Omotolani, they came up with a solution that links farm sponsors and actual farmers- Farmcrowdy. According to its business model, the farmer and the sponsor both get 40% each from profits, whereas Farmcrowdy gets 20% for the work done. The firm was the only African startup accepted into Techstars 2017 cohort and received its first investment of $100,000 from there. Afterward, it raised $1m in that same year and obtained a grant of $325,000 in 2018. As at February 2019, Farmcrowdy has empowered 11,124 farmers across 6 states in Nigeria, sponsored 23,195 farms, reared 1.7 million poultry birds, cultivated 8,550 acres and has 45,000 farm sponsors and followers.
9. Jumia: Jumia is an online marketplace in Africa for fashion, electronics, and much more. It was founded in 2012 by Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor in Lagos, Nigeria. With no organized retail in Nigeria then and a large population of 160 million people, they decided not to wait around to build a physical mall but a digital centralized platform where people can shop online. Rocket Internet Group’s Africa Internet Group (founded by Jeremy Hodara and Sasha Poignonnec) helped the firm start operations in 2012, and expand to South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt. As of 2017, the firm was present in 14 countries all across Africa, including Ghana, Tanzania, and Tunisia. Jumia has evolved from just an online marketplace to having its own hotel booking platform (Jumia Travel), its food delivery platform (Jumia Food), its payment app (Jumia Pay), its real-estate listing platform (Jumia House), its classifieds agency (Jumia Deals) and an app that integrates all these into one (Jumia One). It has over 14 million products on its platform, partners with over 50,000 international and national brands, and has over 10,000 active vendors. In 2017 alone, Jumia recorded 550 million visits, with Black Friday, alone, recording 100 million visits. 8.3 million packages were handled through its logistics platform throughout this year. As at the end of 2017, its Gross Merchandise Volume was €507m, a 41.8% increase from 2016, and it had an active customer base of 2.2 million people. Over the past 7 years, Jumia has been able to raise $767.7m from various institutional partners and is touted as one of Africa’s first tech unicorn (≥$1bn valuation). Jumia’s distribution network, deep pockets, and excellent management has led it to be ranked as one of MIT’s 50 smartest companies worldwide (2017).
10. Konga: Konga is one of Nigeria’s online largest malls. It offers a third-party digital marketplace, as well as, first-party direct retail spanning various categories from consumer electronics to personal care products. It was founded in 2012 by Sim Shagaya and is a direct competitor to Jumia in Nigeria. After running a billboard company in Nigeria, once he left his role as Google’s Head for Africa, he convinced the board to invest in DealDey, a daily deals website. The success of DealDey convinced Sim to launch Konga as he confirmed there was a market for online shopping in Nigeria. The firm was initially bootstrapped, but less than a year after launch, the firm received $3.5 seed funding from Kinnevik AB and has raised up to $79.5m, with Naspers and Kinnevik being the main investors. Konga has the KongaPay (online payment platform), Konga Express (faster delivery of goods) and Konga Marketplace services all integrated into its platform. The firm has over 10,000 merchants and an active customer base of 184,000 in 2016. Konga has made some recent pivots, as it restarted its pay-on-delivery option after canceling it in 2017 and increased its number of warehouses. These business model changes were due to their acquisition by Zinox in 2018 for a reported $10m. The acquisition entailed merging Konga with Zinox’s Yudala, to create arguably the biggest e-commerce and retail company in Africa. With plans to expand into other African countries in 2019, Konga is working to revolutionize the e-commerce space in Nigeria and beyond, leveraging on its composite structure, world-class customer experience and fusion of online and offline networks.