2017 has had some really great moments this year, so we decided to put together our favourite.
2017 to a large extent, has been the year of even more validation for the space here, even more than in 2016. And here’s why;
1. Sundar Pachai came to town.
Not like he’s the first, but when two Silicon Valley heavyweights show up in Lagos within an interval of about a year, it’s a really good sign. The Google CEO was in Lagos for the “Google For Nigeria” event, where Google not only announced new products, but promised $3 million in funding through it’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme.
2. Talking about Accelerators.
We’ll also have to talk about incubators. Not only did Google kickoff an Accelerator Programme, MEST launched an incubation centre in Lagos, with an obvious plan to support entrepreneurs and startups. Facebook also announced that it’s launching an initiative, with all of Nigeria in mind.
One of the biggest moments from 2016 was Paystack securing $1.3 million in investment from Y Combinator. But it appears YC has even more faith in the Nigerian ecosystem. 5 Nigerian startups made it into its Winter Batch this year; Kudi, Aella Credit, Kangpe, Tizeti, and Buypower.
What does this mean: The times might be hard economically, but the ecosystem will not stoop. Nigeria might really be on track to outdo Kenya afterall.
3. Flutterwave is on a wavy level.
They’ve been on that level since the very beginning last year. When Iyin Aboyeji left Andela last year to build Flutterwave, many people wondered why he left such a promising company to build another. Well, they shall wonder no more. In August, Flutterwave raised $10 million in a Series A funding. Even more impressive is that at the time, they’d already powered 14 million transactions, valued at about $12.5 billion. Imagine what 2018 will look like.
4. Andela’s big buck.
Andela is the probably MVP of Nigeria’s startup scene in many ways. Mark Zuckerberg loves them enough for him to make them a big deal. But it appears he’s not alone in that love business. In November, Andela raised upwards of 12 billion naira in seed funding. That is a big deal.
What does this mean: It means that Andela is doing something right, and valuable. Andela is not only building a business, they are building talent.
5. Here come the Hotels.ng Interns.
Still on building talent, Hotels.ng recruits interns in large numbers, who mostly work remotely, crushing tasks assigned, amongst other things. This model wasn’t quite easy to sustain, and so Hotels found a formula to make it more sustainable; partnering with the government. Their first partner? The Akwa Ibom State Government. They have huge plans to do this in as many states as possible. Awesome. Over 100 people have graduated from their internship program so far.