10 Nigerian startups to watch out for in 2019

Here is Business Insider SSA by Pulse’s list of 10 startups to watch out for in 2019.

10 Nigerian startups to watch out in 2019
  • Some startups are going to take us by storm in 2019 as the ecosystem is becoming more and more open to investment.
  • I asked more than half a dozen venture capital investors, mentors and tech experts in Nigeria to name the startups they feel they are excited about and ones that are going to take us by storm this year.
  • From the list, Fintechs still going lead the bulk of investment into Nigeria in 2019.

Nigerian startups led the bulk of investment on the continent in 2018 with 58 startups raising a total of $94.9 million from various sectors, according to Disrupt Africa's Startup Funding Report for 2018.

Following the steps and success stories of Andela, Flutterwave and others in Africa, the likes of PiggyBank, Paystack, Farmcrowdy made waves in the startup space in 2018 with fintech leading the funding raising noise.

But what about the up-and-coming startups that could shake the Nigerian landscape in 2019 and at the verge of becoming market leaders in their sectors?


I asked more than half a dozen venture capital investors, mentors and tech experts in Nigeria to name the startups they feel are excited about and ones that are going to take us by storm this year.

Their takes include startups from edutech, agritech, fintech, health and logistics and they are passionate about what they are and what they will do to the Nigerian economy in 2019 and beyond.

Apart from Nigeria's 2019 elections, some startups are going to take us by storm as the space is becoming more and more open to investment and in turn making Nigeria an investment destination for venture capitalists.

Here is Business Insider SSA by Pulse’s list of 10 startups to watch out for in 2019.


1. PiggyVest (formerly Piggybank)

Founders: Joshua Chibueze, Odunayo Eweniyi and Somto Ifezue

VC: VilCap Investments, Village Capital, Leadpath Nigeria and Ventures Platform

Funding: $1.2 million

Sector: Fintech


What it does: Savings/financial intelligence for millennials

Why it's hot in 2019: PiggyVest has grown its community to over 195,000 registered individuals with over N1 billion monthly savings and has been a dominance voice in the fintech space in Nigeria.

The company plans to more financial features to make the platform more robust and primed to reach more users across the continent and a focus to go global.

2. Paystack


Founders: Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade

VC: Stripe, Visa, Tencent and Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures and Ventures Platform.

Funding: $11.7 million

Sector: Fintech


What it does: Payment for Africa

Why it's hot in 2019: Paystack has grown to process nearly 15% of all online payments in Africa's largest economy, powering tens of thousands of businesses of all sizes including telcos, airlines, and government agencies.

This year, the company seek to scale and deepening its payments infrastructure, accelerate expansion across the continent.

3. Thrive Agric

Founder: Ayodeji Arikawe


VC: Ventures Platform

Funding: $20,000

Sector: Agritech

What it does: Crowdsourcing investments in agriculture


Why it's hot in 2019: Since 2017, Thrive Agric has supported more than 4,000 farmers with crowd-sourcing model and help small-scale producers with access to finance, best practices and link up with buyers during harvest.

Currently among the 500 startups participating at the tech accelerator programme of the Silicon Valley firm.

The Agric-tech company is working to scale through other Africa cities and provides farmer clients with expertise as well as fundraising.



Founders: Ekechi Nwokah and Kunle Olukotun

VC: XSeed Capital, First Ally Capital, Western Technology Investment and The Rise Fund

Funding: $17.2 million

Sector: Fintech


What it does: Digital credit platform for emerging markets

Why it's hot in 2019: Mines, a multi-million company will continue growth expansion in Africa and move South America and South-East Asia. The company is also planning to partner with credit institutions to drive financial access around the world.

5. Riby

Founder: Abolore Salami

VC: GreenHouse Capital, Growth Capital by CCHub, Microtraction, Passion Incubator, Amazon Web Services & the World Bank.


Funding: $470,000

Sector: Fintech

What it does: Financial intelligence for co-operatives

Why it's hot in 2019: Following its successful launch in Nigeria, Riby is looking to begin operations in a few other African countries within the next 18 months.


The startup is targeting to push the direct adoption of the Riby Co-Banking application and USSD channels from its current 10,000 users to 500,000 users. The new policy will help serve its 8,000 Cooperatives and Trade Groups registered with over 2 million individuals.

6. LifeBank

Founder: Temie Giwa Tubosun

VC: EchoVC Partners, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria and Fola Laoye

Funding: $225,000


Sector: Healthcare

What it does: Saving lives through the availability of blood

Why it's hot in 2019: On a mission is to reduce the number of deaths linked to limited oxygen availability by improving oxygen distribution to hospitals through AirBank in a country where more than half a million die annually due to hypoxaemia.

In 2018, the company won MIT Solve Global Challenge in health category and looking to start on-demand delivery of oxygen monitoring equipment like pulse oximeters, routine, scheduled delivery of oxygen to replenish depleted hospital stock in Africa's populous nation.


7. Kobo360

Founders: Ife Oyedele ll, Obi Ozor

VC: International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital Partners, Y Combinator, Oded David 'O.D.' Kobo, Verod Capital Management and Western Technology Investment

Funding: $7.3 million

Sector: Logistics


What it does: Logistics in Nigeria

Why it's hot in 2019: Kobo360's goal is to build a global logistics operating system by upgrading its platform and expand operations to Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.

By doing this, it plans to add more physical presence throughout Nigeria and open100 hubs before the end of 2019.

8. Estate Intel


Founder: Dolapo Omidire MRICS

VC: Nil

Funding: Nil

Sector: Real estate


What it does: Providing Africa's largest commercial property database.

Why it's hot in 2019: Estate Intel is providing data for the commercial real estate sector in Nigeria by building a web-based application for market participants.

The real estate startup also won $10,000 recently at the Pitch Storm event organised by Techpoint, Dolapo says Estate Intel intends solution tailored towards people’s problem in the real estate industry.

9. Mobile Forms Africa

Founders: Damilola Ayorinde, Oluwatomi Ayorinde


VC: Right Side Capital Management, 500 Startups and Ventures Platform

Funding: $270,000

Sector: Data collection

What it does: Intelligent data collection


Why it's hot in 2019: The transforming of data usage in Africa for local and international businesses.

10. Allpro

Founders: Henry Nnalue and Angela Essien

VC: Microtraction

Funding: Undisclosed


Sector: Edutech

What it does: Education financing and management

Why it's hot in 2019: Allpro is working to addressing the challenges – funding majorly, affecting education in Nigeria by providing finance through access to loans. It is an end-to-end lending platform for schools in Nigeria by offering credit risks for lenders while making access to credit easy for various stakeholders in the school ecosystem – Proprietor, parents and teachers.

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