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Nigeria Start-ups Hot for Investors



  • Nigeria Start-ups Hot for Investors

The year 2017 was eventful for the Nigerian small business sector. The sector emerged as one of the hottest for investors. Leading venture capital firms evaluated several start-ups. Many secured seed funding in Africa and attracted increased international support. The space saw a significant investment of over $ 200 million spread across small businesses and projects. The general trend was that the seed/angel rounds got bigger.

During the year, many startups get more than $ 50,000 investment.

Three Nigerian tech start-ups received $8.35m in seed capital from local and foreign investors: Wi-Fi provider Tzeti ($2.1m), e-commerce start-up Cars45 $5m and Fintech firm Lydia ($1.25m).

Fntech startup Lydia is a financial services platform, which grants individuals and African businesses access to small loans, using credit scoring algorithms.

Another start up, online travel agency, Travel beta raised $2 million seed funding from a group of Nigerian Investors barely six weeks after the company was launched on October 1.

Three Nigerian start-ups secured $450,000 funding from 500 Startups. The tech start-ups, which include Mail Haven, Mobile Forms and Fyodor Biotechnologies, were part of the 36 companies drawn from across the world.

Last year, Coding School Andela in October secured $40million funding from investors such as CRE VC, Salesforce Ventures, DBL Partners, etc, to fund an aggressive expansion across Africa, taking its total venture funding to over $80 million. Andela, builds high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software developers.

A payments startup, Flutter wave, also secured funding of $10 million.

Digital and crowd-funded agriculture platform, FarmCrowdy announced raising $1m seed fund, barely a year after it launched, from Techstars and other international investors.

FarmCrowdy was the first and only African startup to be shortlisted into Techstars Atlanta’s accelerator programme in August. The seed fund will allow the award-winning startup to scale its operations with plans to expand to combined 20 states, work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers and engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and farm sponsors on its platform to learn about the opportunities in agriculture and partner farmers.

Former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson announced TLcom Capital’s $40m seed fund for African tech startups. Mrs Johnson is the Lead General Partner for TLcom in Lagos.

Founded in 1999, TLcom Capital has invested in targeted businesses, which address technological issues in either large established global markets, or in the development of emerging markets with the potential for a global scale.

During the year, former country Manager of Starta, Yele Bademosi established Microtraction to invest early in the most remarkable technical founders as well as provide support to build world-class startups.

Microtraction commited $65,000 at two different stages to recipient startups, an initial tranche of $15,000 for 7.5 per cent equity stake, followed by an extra $50,000 (convertible note) at a $1 million valuation cap for companies that showed significant progress.

Also, a venture capital firm, LoftyInc Capital Management announced the close of its Afropreneur Fund 1 and the launch of a new $25 million Afropreneur Fund II. LoftyInc Capital said the new fund will focus on early-stage enterprises that leverage technologies to create social impact and tackle big problems. The launch of the new fund was announced at Africa Diaspora Network’s Annual Investment Symposium in Silicon Valley.

“The key goal of the Afropreneur Funds is to leverage these investments for social impact, contributing as much to social change and impact as to the bottom-line, lifting millions out of poverty, illiteracy, sickness and unemployment,” the firm said. LoftyInc Capital Management (LCM) is an initiative of Idris Bello and partners.

During the year also, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) brought valuable experience and network apart from the financial support to the start-up community. MEST, a not-for-profit organisation that invests in and trains African Entrepreneurs, with the aim to create next tech entrepreneurs and provide jobs for the continent, provides funding, space and expertise.

It also powers a cluster of innovation networks for startups in Lagos. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, MEST has invested $20 million since opening its doors in 2008 to aspiring African entrepreneurs and has gone to recruit talents from not only Ghana, but Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote D’ivoire.

$1 million venture capital fund

The Federal Government through the Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, established a $1 million venture capital to boost the creative Industry.

He announced this in Lagos at the opening of a two-day Creative Industry Financing Conference, saying 20 individuals, each investing $50,000, are expected to help make up the required amount. So far, he said, five people had volunteered to invest $50,000 each and expressed the optimism that more investors would come forward.

The Venture Capital, according to him, would provide seed money for young and talented Nigerians to set up businesses in the creative industry. He said Nigeria’s creative industry needs to be taken into a golden era of smooth access to short and long term financing.

Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

New set of 1, 438 beneficiaries of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) received cheques totaling N924.7 million from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The governor, who presented the cheques to the beneficiaries at the blue roof Lagos Television (LTV) Agidingbi, said the initiative was geared towards providing funds for entrepreneurs, artisans and traders among others, to help boost their business and tackle unemployment challenges in the state.

The governor in January had presented cheques totaling about N1 billion to 705 beneficiaries, who were selected after scaling through a transparent screening process in the pilot phase.

Growing interest in Nigeria

To experts, the Nigerian startup ecosystem has definitely taken off. It has been driven by increased international funding, evolving technology space and a burgeoning demand within the domestic market.

Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti said the state is building an ecosystem with significant improvements in ease of doing business, liberalisation in taxation policies and simplification of regulatory procedures.

He reiterated that Lagos’s economic future lay in encouraging startups, which will bring dynamism, new thinking and create jobs for the economy.

Growing interest in Nigeria globally has led to foreign companies and funds such as Alibaba (China), showing interest in new generation entrepreneurs. The Global Startup Ecosystem Report and Ranking 2017, produced by Startup Genome in collaboration with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), noted that at $2 billion, the Lagos startup ecosystem is the most valuable in Africa continent, but only second after Cape Town in terms of the number of startups.

The study said Lagos ecosystem has the ninth highest rate of founders with an undergraduate degree at 59 per cent, while 93 per cent of them have a technical background, the third highest rate in the world.

However, Lagos startups have one of the lowest rates of foreign customers, suggesting challenges to going global. Only 11 per cent of startups plan to go global.

“While Nigeria is busy adding six million new internet users every year, the feverish entrepreneurial energy of Lagos and its estimated 400-700 active startups stayed consistent by providing them with useful new technologies,” the report said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Dell Partners Other Firms to Establish Tech Centre in Nigeria



Dell, Other Tech Firms Partner to Establish Tech Centre in Nigeria

Dell Technologies said it has partnered other global tech giants to establish Tech Experience Centre that will bridge the gap to technologies for millions of people in Nigeria.

Dell Technologies Director, Central and West Africa, Nicholas Travers, in a statement, said the project expected to be launched on October 1, would help cut costs, reduce capital flight and boost technology adoption in the country.

Travers lauded TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost tech, lifestyle and solutions distributor, for the landmark initiative.

We believe the Tech Experience Centre will help reduce the decision making cycle and save huge costs and time of traveling to locations outside our continent to visit and experience these technologies at work.

“This is a fantastic initiative by TD Africa, perhaps the first of its kind in the region and we are proud to be part of it,” he said.

According to him, the project will go a long way in helping Dell Technologies showcase its suite of cutting-edge technologies.

The launch of the Experience Centre will support the growth of technology in Nigeria and the West African region.

“Also, it provides a fantastic platform for Dell Technologies to showcase the very many technologies we offer,” Travers said.

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Newly Founded Cybersecurity Startups Raise Over $31m in 2020



e-banking fraud

Cybersecurity Startups Raise Over $31m in 2020

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, there are 78 new cybersecurity companies founded in 2020 that cumulatively have raised over $31.6 million in funding year-to-date.

Only 15% of cybersecurity startups launched in 2020 secured funding. However, three companies alone collected nearly 96% ($30.3 million) of the total amount of investments.

The startup that scored the most significant investment is Beyond. It secured a total of $21 million in February of 2020, which accounts for more than 66% of total investments into newly launched cybersecurity startups this year.

A cybersecurity company with the second biggest investment is Sevco Security, which raised over $6.7 million in May of 2020.

Also, in the list of top three cybersecurity startups in terms of funding is Soc.OS. It received more than $2.5 million in investments in July this year.

Most of this year’s cybersecurity companies are from North America or particularly the US. They make up nearly 35% (27) of all the cybersecurity startups launched in 2020.

A number of new cybersecurity startups is shrinking each year

While the amount of cyber incidents is increasing and cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, the number of new cybersecurity startups is declining each year.

Historical data shows that in 2015 there were 490 cybersecurity companies launched. Together the startups raised over $3.1 billion in investments.

The year of 2016 saw a slightly smaller number of new cybersecurity companies. The launch of new startups in the cybersecurity field decreased by 0.8%, with 486 startups launched that year. The total amount of funding allocated to those startups, however, dropped in half, from $3.1 billion to $1.6 billion.

In 2017 the number of new cybersecurity startups plummeted again by 0.8%. There were 482 cybersecurity companies founded that year, which raised more than $1.3 billion in total — 17% less than in 2016.

The number of new cybersecurity startups dropped by more than a fifth in 2018 compared to the year before. A total of 382 cybersecurity companies were launched that year, which collected over $847 million in investments. The amount of funds invested in the cybersecurity startups also dropped by 35% compared to 2017.

Last year saw a 46% decrease in the launch of new cybersecurity startups. There were 207 these types of companies founded. Together they raised close to $229.5 million in investments — 73% less than the year before.

Finally, this year’s cybersecurity market has welcomed 78 newcomers — the number has shrunk by 62% compared to last year. However, 2020 is not over yet; hence we can expect the numbers of cybersecurity companies to increase slightly.

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Nintendo DS Dominates North America and Japan Selling Over 90 Million Units




Nintendo DS Sells 90 Million Units North America and Japan

Data presented by Safe Betting Sites shows that Nintendo DS has dominated sales in North America and Japan with a total of 90.4 million units sold. About 57.3 million Nintendo DS units had been sold in North America while in Japan the figure stands at 33.01 million units.

PlayStation 2 highest selling console globally

As of September 2020, in North America, PlayStation 2 has sold the second-highest number of units at 53.65 million units sold. Xbox 360 is third with 49.11 million units followed by Nintendo Wii at 45.51 million while Game Boy is fifth with 43.18 million units.

Other high selling consoles include PlayStation(40.78 million), Game Boy Advance(40.39 million), PlayStation 4(37.36 million), Nintendo ES(33.49 million), Xbox One (31.39 million)

In Japan, Game Boy has the second highway selling units at 32.47 million followed by Nintendo 3DS at 24.62 million. PlayStation 2has sold 23.18 million units while PlayStation is fifth with 21.59 million units sold.

Other high selling consoles include PlayStation Portable(20.01 million), Nintendo ES(19.35 million), SNES (17.17 million), Game Boy(16.96 million), and Nintendo Switch(15.17 million).

The research highlights the evolution of the gaming industry. According to the research report:

Overall, the video games market has witnessed significant spending over recent years. However, the emergence of low-cost games for mobile devices has slowed demand for video game consoles. The industry has experienced almost a complete overhaul of how games are purchased, played, and shared with others. The industry’s shift to online services has served to insulate the industry from shocks to retail and manufacturing channels.

The Safe Betting Sites research also reviewed the highest selling consoles globally. PlayStation 2 holds the pole position with 157.68 million units followed by Nintendo DS at 154.9 million. In the third spot, Game Boy has sold 118.69 million units followed by PlayStation 4 at 113.3 million units. Wii is fifth with 101.64 million units sold.


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