The Nigerian tech ecosystem is currently experiencing a remarkable growth. This is thanks to the crop of emerging visionaries who are playing an active role in this disruption. According to the Federal Government, Nigeria’s tech space is projected to create 3 million jobs and generate $88 billion for the economy by 2021. Little wonder why foreign investors have been ogling the Giant of Africa for long-term investments using her human and intellectual resources.
Today, we take a special look at some of the individuals under 40 years of age who have built multi-million naira corporations from scratch, and are still keeping the momentum.
Chimezie Emewulu (35) & Chibuzor Onwurah (35), SEAMFIX
Chimezie and Chibuzor are co-founders of Seamfix, a leading IT firm in Lagos. Both, 35 years old, are graduates of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. They started their company with just N75,000 (equivalently $500 at the time) and solid dreams.
Since then, Seamfix has grown into arguably the largest provider of identity management solutions in Nigeria and are equity-funded i.e. self-funded. Sources say they turnover over $5.5 million dollars annually, with clients in government, telecoms, education, finance etc across the continent and beyond.
Temitope Ogunsemo (33), KRYSTAL DIGITAL
Temitope is the founder of Krystal Digital, an edtech company. He was listed in Forbes’ 2018 list of 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa.
Krystal Digital currently posts over $3m of revenue every year, establishing strategic partnerships with Microsoft. The company’s most popular solution, MySkool Portal, is currently used by over 65,000 students in secondary schools across Nigeria to house data in schools.
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (27), FLUTTERWAVE
Even before he founded Flutterwave, one of Nigeria’s leading payments company, Iyinoluwa has been a household name in the African tech ecosystem. Together with a friend, he co-founded Andela which has gone on to become one of Nigeria’s foremost companies and hub for Africa’s best software developers.
After Andela, Iyinoluwa went on to start his own fintech company, Flutterwave. Within a year, the company has partnered with 10 banks and processed over $1.5 billion worth of transactions in that time.
Mark Essien (37), HOTELS.NG
Mark is the CEO of Nigeria’s biggest hotel booking site, Hotels.ng. A graduate of Computer Science from two universities in Germany, he returned to Nigeria to start a hotel booking site.
After receiving initial funding of $75,000 and $150,000 respectively, the company started to grow its base. In 2015, the company received a funding of $1.2m to penetrate other markets outside the country. Today, the company is said to be worth over 3 billion naira and servicing more than 7,000 hotels.
Adedeji Adewunmi (34), JOBBERMAN
Deji, as fondly called, is the CEO of Nigeria’s no.1 jobs and recruitment portal and the largest and tech-driven jobs website in sub-Saharan Africa. Servicing over 30,000 companies in all states in Nigeria, Jobberman has been making waves in the tech space.
In 2016, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg made a special mention of how the company is taking advantage of the internet to curb unemployment in Africa (https://goo.gl/ReNybW). Adedeji co-founded Jobberman alongside viral tech entrepreneur Opeyemi Awoyemi (30) who also co-founded Whogohost, Nigeria’s no.1 hosting company and Olalekan Olude (34). The trio are graduates of Obafemi Awolowo University. Jobberman will be a decade by next year.
In coming years, we are sure more tech innovators will emerge. The global telescope is on Nigeria. The internet is a platform where many have proven could be a starting point due to its innumerable opportunities. There’s no limitation to how the mind can explore!