Win up to 50,000USD in Visa everywhere initiative in Sub Sahara Africa



Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is a global open innovation program tapping into startup communities to drive regional business objectives, curate the startup ecosystem for Visa clients and accelerate bigger and bolder ideas, enriching consumer experience.

Wherever you want to be, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative helps you get there. Coming to Sub Sahara Africa for the first time, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative offers participants a chance to win up 50,000USD and a chance to have a support development program with Visa business or partnership with Visa’s partners.

The focus areas are on

  • Innovations that move away from cash on delivery culture for ecommerce Africa by leveraging on Visa Developer APIs to either: Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery. Apply 
  • Innovations that help  improve cash flow and receive payments by using Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments. Apply
  • Innovations leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system. Apply

3 winners of 25 000 USD each. Each Company selected as a Brief Winner will be awarded 25,000 USD. If Visa determines in its sole discretion that a Brief Winner has created a standout solution, Visa may provide further investment and mentoring support to that Brief Winner, subject to the parties agreeing a suitable development program and additional terms for the investment.

Application ends May 18 2018.

LifeBank gets $200k in Seed funding

The Nigerian startups just raised $200k in seed funding to expand its service across Nigeria. Founded 2 years ago, LifeBank has been saving lives by making blood available on demand.

The health sector is the least disrupted in Nigeria and seeing the startup take this sector and thriving is a welcome development.

According to QZ

Since its launch, while servicing a sliver of the market which founder Temie Giwa-Tubosun believes exists, LifeBank has moved products valued at $360,000 and has earned revenues of nearly $100,000 from charging a fee for delivery. In total, using WHO-approved equipment, it has moved 9,000 pints of blood. The startup now plans to expand and start off operations in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and also in Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north.

We hope to see the startup do amazing things in the next 18 months.

[Breaking News] Yudala Acquires Konga in a $10m Deal


We hinted last month about an acquisition talk between Konga and Yudala, it has now been confirmed that it has finally closed and Konga’s journey as an independent company just came to an end.

Zinox group is being reported as the acquirer. Zinox being the parent company of Yudala acquired the company for $10m – $15m (according to our source close to the negotiation) and the two companies will be integration with potential to expand across Africa.

Yudala model is different, it combines offline with online commerce giving customers a complete experience. We see this as a strength and could help it better execute e-commerce strategies more than Konga could (given its burn rate).

The acquisition includes;, Kongapay, and KOS-Express. This is a total package. The acquisition will also see the company recall some fired staff in a bind to revisit some products and build more capacity as it starts a new journey.


Yudala Chairman Takes Over as Konga’s chairman

We hinted earlier in the month that talks to acquire Konga is ongoing between Konga and Yudala.

We can report authoritatively that Yudala’s Chairman (Leo Stan Eke) as been appointed as Konga’s CEO. We expect an acquisition to close soon.

This put to an end, the tenure of Sim as the Chairman (ceremonial) of the company he founded years ago.


What this space.

Best Investors to pitch to In Nigeria: A look into investors that are actually writing checks

Improving Your Funding as a Learning Concept with Green Chart

I want to cover investors that have written checks for startups in Nigeria 2-3yrs. At the moment in Africa, angels and venture capitalist are growing but as startups, you want to increase your chances of being funded significantly. To make that happen, it’s important to know which investor to pitch. If your startup is at idea stage, you most likely will get funded by an Angel investor or a VC fund with seed coverage.

Another thing is to pay attention to the sector the investor is focused. If you are into Fintech, it makes a lot of sense to pitch a venture firm focused on that sector. Beyond the money, they will have useful advice on executing your strategy.

Name Sector Past Investment Startup Stage Minimum Site
DraperDarkFlow Fintech Paystack, Traction $25k – $500k
Accion Venture Fintech Lidya Traction 100k – $500k
Spark Marketplace / Fintech FlutterWave,,, Nanovas, Seed $10k
Bill Paladino Consumer / Fintech Aella Credit, GoMyWay,, The Student Hub Seed 100k – $500k
Lagos Angel Network
EchoVC, Printivo, S&T Media, Cars45 Traction $50k
GreenTec Capital FarmCrowdy $50k – $10m
Afropreneur Andela, HutBay, Flutterwave, Adient Medical, Nervemobile Seed
TLcom Capital Connectivity, FinTech, B2B, B2C, eCommerce Andela, Movirtu, Upstream Traction / Customers $500k – $10m
Convergence Partners All sectors in telecom and tech – B2B Dimension Data, VGG, CSquared
Strong Revenue Growth
Future Perfect VC Blockchain, ML, Marketplaces, Interactivity Andela
GreenHouse Capital Fintech / Ed-tech Devcenter , Rensource, Flutterwave, Adspread,,, Tutor.NG, paperclasee, AppZone, SureBids, TalentBase, Electronic settlement limited Seed $10k – $250k
Venture Platform Paystack, Printivo, Kangpe, Tizeti, Kudi, Accounteer, Gerocare, LastPrice, Thrive Agric, My Padi, VIVA, Wesabi, Jalo, Mobile Forms, ProTeach, Lizzie’s Creations, DriversNG Traction $10k
Ringier Africa AG Classifieds, Content, Marketing One Africa Media, Jobberman, Cheki, Private Property Nigeria, BuyRentKenya, Brighter Monday, Expat-Dakar, ZoomTanzania, Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa Traction $10k – $10m
Singularity Asoko Insights, PayStack, mPharma, Sliide, Maliyo Games, Flutterwave, SmileID Seed $50k – $750k
Amina Capital Tizeti Technology $50k – $250k
Savanah Fund Lydia, Copia, Sendy, BitFinance, ACE, Podozi Traction $25k
Iconway Ventures Retail, Media, B2B, B2C, eCommerce Gamsole (exited), Pricepadi Traction $10 – $25k
AMMP Ventures VenueCompass Traction $10 – $30k
Passion Incubator Fund (PI Fund) Prototype,, Tanteeta
$5k – $15
Venture Kinetics Healthcare, Education, Media, SAAS, Mobile, Digital Infrastructure Clearbit, Makers Row, Kangpe, Ongair, Gamsole, Tanteeta, MSBM, ESL (CashEnvoy, PayPad), VFD, Playspread, Visacover Technology proof $5k – $100k
Lagos Angel Network Cafe Neo, Big Cabal Traction
TVC Labs Sproxil,, SimplePay, PushCV and Pledge 51 Seed $50k – $250k
CcHUB Growth Capital Lifebank, Gomyway, Truppr, Sarelo Traction $50k – $200k
IFC Venture Capital Andela $3m – $25m

Events that Shaped 2017 in Nigerian Tech


As we enter into the new year, let’s take a look back at the events that shaped 2017, and the impact it will have in 2018;

Andela $40m funding led by African VCs

In what has become a significant milestone in African startup ecosystem, top VCs in Africa joined forces to lead Andela’s $40m funding. This would help the company scale up its manpower and expand across Africa.

Flutterwave’s $10m funding

Off from its seed funding from YC and growing transaction to about $200m, Flutterwave raised $10m from investors and steadily growing its transaction volume and muscle across the continent.

Konga’s Massive Layoff

Konga in the last quarter of 2017, layed off 60% of his staff. In the same vein, it silently shutdown it’s KongaDaily (grocery shopping) it launch earlier in the year. This led to an outpouring of emotions around the ecosystem as people offer to either hire or help the sacked employee get new jobs.

Tolet’s acquisition of Jumia House

Surprised as it came, this is significant as a local M&A is something awesome for the ecosystem. Helping Jumia to exit the real estate market and focus on its e-commerce market.

Paystack doing a billion naira in monthly transaction and hit N2.7b in December

Back in June, Paystack hit 1b in monthly transactions and almost triple that by December. This is awesome given that majority of the transaction came from Merchant, giving e-commerce a boost. The report here.

CcHub PitchDrive; 14 African startups across Europe

Traveling across Europe to 5 countries; UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France. With 14 startups and opportunity to pitch for $22m in funding, this became a defining moment for the startups on board. In partnership with Google, Pitchdrive was a success!


Konga exits B2C e-commerce, shutdown KongaDaily and now a “JiJi” Clone

Konga, the poster child of Nigeria e-commerce is pivoting to pure-play marketplace helping merchant list and sell via WhatsApp. As we found out this morning, customers can no longer “Buy” on Konga, instead, they can only “contact seller” and chat up merchant to finalize order.

This is displeasing as we are currently concluding a report on e-commerce in Nigeria and a possible way it can re-invent itself going forward. With the hope that market players can adjust their strategy in the new year and “think different”! We will publish that later in the month.

Layoff as sign of trouble

Back in July 2016, Konga made its first significant layoff, the CEO had stated as well that the company will be downsizing every six months. It also made a whopping 60% layoff last November, we also learned from an insider that some were let go silently in December.

KongaDaily Shutdown

Sometimes, size could be a burden and the new vertical which looked like it could turn around the company, could not live up to expectation. At its height, the company was doing N700k daily in the transaction but was too small to move the needle at Konga. It’s also said that company has made a significant investment in suppliers and couldn’t sell enough to justify the need for such an investment.

Acquisition negotiation

There are rumors that Konga is currently pushing to sell itself as current investors as refused to back it and money in the bank is fast depleting. An acquisition talk was (alleged) to have been held with Yudala but the talk has not proceeded positively in recent days.

What this means for the industry

Our view is that, for as long as humans use the internet, commerce will remain a thing. As such e-commerce will not die but will need a radical model to execute in this market.

With Paystack recent report of N2.7b in transactions in December (mostly from Merchants), then e-commerce is actually working but not at scale. The question is, what’s the best way to do e-commerce in Nigeria?

Flutterwave hits $2billion in transaction and increased banking partners

It’s been a pacesetting year for Flutterwave, as expected, the company has grown in leaps and bound.

Over the period the company has grown by 900% in transaction volume; from $200m a year ago to $2billion and from 6 banking partner to 45 across Africa. This is a massive growth year for the company.

Earlier in the year, the company allowed merchants to recieve payment from international cards and paypal, however some merchants were fraudulent (according to sources) and were later restricted and automated acceptance stopped and process reviewed.

It’s also interesting to know that Flutterwave powered ALAT and GTBank MarketHub given that these products were owned by banks.


Year 2018; The year of Fintech in Nigeria

Fintech, for the uninitiated, is financial technology sector; These are startups using technology to provide financial service to customers through various products.

Financial Infrastructure

If there is anything terribly needed in Africa, it is a platform that makes moving money across Africa easy, and the most popular startup in that sector currently is Flutterwave, co-founded by Andela co-founder; Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and other banking veterans. This has made it possible for more Fintech startups to leverage its infrastructure to build products it might not be well positioned to build or execute. By doing this, entrepreneurs and businesses are able to go to the market with their innovative product without getting slowed down by lack of financial infrastructure in Africa. Flutterwave has processed over $1.2b in transaction since it’s launch.

Merchant Commerce

Paystack, the darling of developers has seen tremendous growth in the volume of transactions and the number of merchants on its platform. Back in July, Paystack shared that it processed a billion naira in transactions within the month, and just this December, the number was N2.7b, almost 3 folds just under 6 months and a total of 7,700 merchants on the platform. These were simply transaction done by merchants (excluding transfer); read e-commerce.

As big e-commerce players struggle in Nigeria, it’s good to see smaller players growing in transaction with the help of Fintech Startups in Nigeria. Other Fintech Startups: Amplify, SimplePay, CashEnvoy,

Offline Payment

In the sexiness of online payment, e-commerce, and infrastructure, we generally fail to realize the importance and significance of offline payment which according to our estimate is still more than 95% of payment transaction in the country. These areas are unsexy but bigger (at moment) than online payments. The Startups leading the way in this key area are CashEnvoy and Paga. With CashEnvoy’s Paypad, they are able to make online transactions possible for merchant in shops, delivery agents for logistic companies and “human ATMs” in remote locations. If you have ever been to an area in remote Nigeria where finding the closest ATM to you will take a 2hrs car trip, you most likely will appreciate the value of these “Human ATMs” and the values provided by this ATM service providers. Paga, on the other hand, is the king of offline transactions in Nigeria, from payment collection, bank withdrawall, and transfer.


2017 saw huge increase in transaction and startups in this subsector in Nigeria. Leading the pack is Paylater, a startup that allows you to borrow money in minutes from mobile apps and receive it in your bank account. These products are amazing in that you do not need paper work as required by the bank to be able to get the money you need quickly. Though, they mostly come with higher interest but who cares about high interest when you need money here and now? Other startups in this area are; Kiakia, Lidya, Aella Credit, RenMoney

Personal Finance and Savings

Every human one way or the other needs a way to preserve their money, make more on it and buy their dream products. This usually comes in a way of saving up your earnings or getting loan to make the dream come true. is the leader in this space with almost a billion in deposit. CowryWise, OsusuMobile, REΛCH and SusuAI.

Analyst View

As these startups becomes ubiquituos this year, we will see traditional banks pay attention in the way of either partnering, or starting their own subsidiary or launching product to take on any of this subsector. As other sources of revenue; Federal and State government, Bond, T-bills, Forex and oil becomes volatile and unpredictable they will be looking at other avenues to make money and beat their last year revenue. We have also entered election season, a lot of money will move out of the banking system onto the hands of political players (in “Ghana must go” bags) etc.

As we cross our fingers and follow the growth in the system, we can be sure of amazing things in this new year., Nigerian Startup to Shake the mainstream in 2018

I have been following PiggyBank since their launch in 2016, and to see them grow aggressively over 2017 is amazing! Reading through the co-founder’s article on medium gave an impressive look into the steady execution and future of the company. I must say, it’s an impressive journey of how a Nigerian startup can be gritty, execution-minded and be awesome!

Product viabilities

Everyone in the world is aware of the need to save, and particularly in Nigeria(maybe Africa), we have Esusu culture of regularly saving money daily, weekly and monthly; most times jointly. I personally participated in joint-saving while in high school and running a small business. If there is any challenge to scale from that model, it’s the fact that, some people default after they have collected the fund contributed by everyone.

With PiggyBank, you are able to safe, put a SafeLock on it, and be sure to get your money when the time comes, say 3months time. The pain you get from the emergence of easy access (e-banking) to your money is the fact that, you can pull out your savings too quickly and as such, not be able to get the value of saving for a significant period.

(By William Iven, Unsplash)

The Accelerators

Till date, PiggyBank has participated in 3 accelerators; Village Capital, PitchDrive and BlackBox, all in 2017. When you look at the pattern of execution, you will see a coordinated, ambitious and lean(viral) approach to how they execute their strategies. I want to believe that their participation in the accelerators shaped greatly, the way they execute.

When you run a startup, getting a helping-hand in thinking through and executing your strategy has a value that can never be underestimated.

The Market

According to the last banking report, there are about 97.57m bank account holders in Nigeria, this is the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for the startup and given that we can assume a 25% Servicable Addressable Market (SAM) from the lot. Remember not all Nigerians with banking account will be ready to save money YET in a startup. This will change over time as their acquisition of a microfinance license could insure customer deposit as well, giving customers more confidence.

The Execution

In 2017, the startup grew 30,000% from 21m savings to close to 1 billion naira just within 12 months? That’s super impressive. According to the CEO, 30% of the money is in SafeLock, meaning customers have a pre-determined time for withdrawal and as a business, they can do investment with the money and make more.

The Future

This year 2018, we see PiggyBank breaking new ground and growing savings by at least 500%. With the acquisition of a microfinance, they will be able to hold money for longer, open a standalone bank account for customers and be able to introduce new products that will push them to the mainstream.

On the funding side, we predict (going by the pattern of startups in Nigeria) a $1.2m series a funding before the end of the year.