11. Interswitch: Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organizations on a timely and consistent basis. The firm was founded in 2012 by Mitchell Elegbe. Prior to setting up Interswitch, he was the Head, Group Marketing and Business Solution, Telnet Nigeria, where he conceived the idea to build and implement Nigeria’s first on-line, realtime transaction switching and payment processing infrastructure to enable the electronic circulation of money. The company has since grown to 490 employees and an estimated $49.5m revenue, according to Owler. The firm was one of the pioneers in the payment space in Nigeria, and paved the way for the likes of Paystack, Flutterwave, and Etranzact. It has provided a variety of services over the years like: Quickteller (online payments platform), Smartgov (identity management and state government e-payment solution), Verve (pan African chip and PIN payment card whose cards are accepted in 185 countries worldwide), and Retailpay (sales and inventory management software). As at August 2017, 45% of Nigeria’s 30 million cardholders use Verve cards and 16 million people use their mobile token or mobile apps. They possess the largest biller network in Nigeria with over 100,000 POS and more than 17,000 ATMs. With its acquisition of the Paynet Group, VANSO and Selcom in East Africa, Interswitch has shown its commitment to innovation and technology throughout Africa.
12. SystemSpecs: SystemSpecs is a software development company founded in 1992 by John Obaro, with the aim of developing human capital management and financial software solutions. For 14 years, it was known only as a frontline payroll firm and the creator of Human Manager, a payroll Human Resource Management and goal management software package. It was extremely popular and had enjoyed high market acceptability throughout Africa. In fact, the solution has managed payroll and human capital processes of more than 300 organizations across Africa for over 20 years. However, a defining moment for the firm was when it was conducting a pilot study on 50,000 workers with the World Bank for the Federal Government in 2006, and launched a solution that would allow anyone access their bank accounts across different banks on a single screen- Remita. This e-payments and e-collections platform licensed by the Central Bank was one of the pioneers of the fintech industry in Nigeria today. It is being used by all 22 commercial banks and over 400 microfinance institutions across Nigeria. Remita is also used by the CBN for payment and collection of funds on behalf of the Nigerian government for the Treasury Single Account
(TSA), saving the government N128bn in bank charges annually, and by the Corporate Affairs Commission for individuals seeking to register companies or company names.
13. BudgIT: BudgIT is a civil organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. Basically, the firm tries to improve accountability and transparency in governance by simplifying the budget and public spending for citizens. It was founded in 2011 in Lagos, by two friends, Oluseun Onigbinde and Joseph Agunbiade, who formed a team for a hackathon at Co-Creation Hub. Seun had the idea of enabling accessibility to information about government expenditure for the average citizens. The end-result was BudgIT. Beyond budget access, the firm has championed a number of accountability tools and projects. One of which is a project-tracking tool called Tracka, which allows Nigerians in 20 states post pictures of developmental projects in their communities, with BudgIT’s project officers helping these individuals communicate with their elected representatives and demand completion of such projects. The firm has worked with 42 civil society organizations to revamp their digital outlook, policy analyses and report presentation formats. In 2015, BudgIT collaborated with the Kaduna State Government to build an Open Budget mobile portal, similar to the Buharimeter, they built for the Center of Democracy and Development to hold the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari accountable to his electoral promises. They have also provided support to the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning, and the Lagos state Ministry of Budget and Planning. According to Crunchbase, BudgIT has raised $2.9m, with major investors and donors including: the MacArthur Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CCHub and Omidyar Network. The firm has been able to reach over 4,850,000 Nigerians via digital and physical spaces and has received over 8000 unique data requests, leading conversations and engagements around government fiscal allocation and expenditure. Though it started as a Nigerian initiative, the social advocacy startup now has offices in Ghana and Sierra Leone, championing the open data culture continent-wide.
14. Kobo360: Kobo360 is a trucking logistics startup that is revolutionizing the logistics space in Africa and emerging markets, through big data and technology. It aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners, drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. It has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, within Chisco’s premises at their Jibowu terminal, improving their efficiency. Kobo’s co-founders, Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II, initially planned to become a major supply partner for big corporations in Nigeria, but discovered that SMEs needed this service just as well. In 2016, the platform was born, with Obi and the team deciding to go into beta phase for
an entire year to conduct a thorough needs assessment for SMEs, which helped the startup build a lean and efficient operation. Since its launch, the firm has leveraged its tech-enabled logistics service for SMEs and e-commerce outfits, through its use of open body trucks, flatbed trucks and covered body trucks to move cargo, and its Uber-like app connecting truckers and companies with freight needs. The organization has been able to serve 900 businesses nationwide, aggregated a fleet of 8000 drivers and moved 155 million kilograms, through its network of drivers and partnerships with key logistics players in the country such as Chisco Transport Group, UPS, Air France and KLM. Top clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL. According to Crunchbase, the platform has raised $7.3m in external funding. In 2018, Kobo360 raised $6m in equity financing from IFC-led investors to build a global logistics operating system, offer supply chain management tools to enterprise customers, improve its physical presence in Nigeria by building 100 hubs in 2019, as well as, expanding operations to Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.
15. Gokada: Gokada is an on-demand motorbike hailing service focused on changing the face of transportation in Nigeria by leveraging technology to connect users to the nearest motorbikes within their area. It aims to be the future of two-wheeled transport in Nigeria, solving the transportation and logistics challenges facing millions of Nigerians in metropolitan Lagos. It was founded in 2017 by Deji Oduntan. The firm uses 200 cc motorbikes, travelling 26km/h during traffic, as opposed to the 100cc bikes used by regular bike-riders. They utilize high-level of safety measures like DOT-certified helmets, hairnets, and an extensive psychometric and driving test for their riders. Gokada started with 100 bikes but now has over 200 on its platform, and is utilizing data analytics to monitor trends and make smart predictions. It offers the travel range benefits of a car while being more affordable. Furthermore, it is predictable with a standard fare rate, so need to haggle. In 2018, the firm raised $337,333 in funding, through their SEC filing, in a round participated by New York-based Adventure Capital. Gokada plans to expand to states with strong demand in a few years, after consolidating their presence across Lagos. According to the CEO, Deji Oduntan, “In 5 years, Gokada will be the one-stop shop for the Nigerian consumer…”. With a current serviceable obtainable market of over 20 million people in Lagos and a serviceable available market of over 70 million in Nigeria, the firm can change the face of transportation in Nigeria.