Meet the Nigerian who sold his startup to Apple for $1 billion

He founded and raised nearly $8 million for his two startups, which are US-based internet companies

Chinedu Echeruo

Chinedu Echeruo was an obscure name that only very few Nigerians knew till very recently rumors of Apple acquiring his startup Hopstop started to go round.

He grew up in Eastern Nigeria, and attended Kings College, Lagos, before going on to Syracuse University and subsequently the Harvard Business School.

He worked for several years with hedge funds, leverage finance groups and mergers and acquisition groups of J.P Morgan Chase, where he was involved in a broad range of financing, and private equity transactions.

Echeruo also worked at AM Investments Partners, a $500 million volatility-driven convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund.

He founded and raised nearly $8 million for his two startups, which are US-based internet companies – Hopstop, which Apple purchased for $1 billion and Tripology, which was acquired in 2010 by travel and navigation company Rand McNally.

Being the serial entrepreneur that he is, he is already on to another venture, this time focused on small businesses in Africa.

According to him, “There is no reason why every entrepreneur should have to reinvent the wheel every single time in all the countries in Africa.

"My idea is to essentially have one place where a budding entrepreneur can access a template for starting a business, and then customise it to suit their own situation; essentially, a business-in-a-box.”

Echeruo has already begun crowdfunding for his latest startup, Business-in-a-box.

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