The 20 most important people in Nigerian tech
We considered three factors: the impact of their work and positions, theirinfluence within the community, and how integral they are to the evolution ofthe ecosystem. They are all divided into 5 categories: Founders/Entrepreneurs,Media, Policy, Investment and Community Forces.Some of the names on this list control companies (and groups) whoseinfrastructure power the ecosystem, while some of them are more oracularfigures, the ones who help make sure the system’s stories are not lost in thewhirlwind of time. Some of them pour their money in to the tune of millions ofdollars, and some help make sure the government fully understand what’s goingon. Then there are those who are doing so much, it is impossible to put themin one box.
1. Mitchell Elegbe – CEO and Founder, Interswitch GroupMitchell Elegbe heads Nigeria’s biggest and, perhaps, most important paymentcompany, Interswitch, founded in 2002 long before the age of tech startups andthe craze surrounding them. Interswitch was founded and grew during a timewhen there was almost no infrastructure or technology to support electronicpayment in Nigeria.However, in 16 years, Interswitch under Mitchell has embedded itself deeplyinto Nigeria’s financial services industry — handling payment switching andprocessing transactions for banks, telcos, and many of the biggest companiesaround the country, and the daily lives of Nigerians — allowing them paybills, transfer money, and buy airtime online when there was no one else doingit.More than Mitchell’s role is Interswitch is his influence and reputation asone of Nigeria’s most astute businessmen. Calm, charming, courtly, andconnected, he has mentored many other company founders and helped buildseveral other thriving businesses.2. Jeremy Johnson – CEO and Co-founder, AndelaNo singular company has been more influential to the development of techtalent in Nigeria than Andela, for which Jeremy is co-founder and CEO. Andelatakes young Nigerians who necessarily do not have software programming skillsbut have a strong interest in learning, trains them, and builds them up intoworld-class developers.Many of the rockstar developers Nigeria has produced recently have passedthrough Andela. It has inspired remarkable success stories, and liftedhundreds of young people out of poverty.At Andela, Jeremy calls the shots and over the years, he has appeared in theWhite House and before the US Congress.3. Tayo Oviosu – Founder/CEO, PagaThe story of Tayo and Paga story is one of the biggest positives in Nigeriantech. Currently servicing over 11 million users and generating millions ofdollars in recurring revenue, Tayo’s company has defied the odds and succeededwhere many others have struggled and failed.4. Shola Akinlade, Co-founder/CEO, PaystackAfter the era of e-commerce, payments became the in thing, and Paystack,founded by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, has been one of the superstarcompanies, growing year-on-year in revenue and user base and processing over$20 million monthly.You can find Shola speaking at international entrepreneurship forums andhaving deep conversations with the people responsible for making policies thatshape the financial services industry.5. Gbenga Agboola – CEO and Co-founder, FlutterwaveFounded in 2016, Flutterwave has established itself as the payment companyupon which payment companies are built.Platforms like Uber, Booking.com, and Transferwise all use Flutterwave toprocess their payments. What makes it so integral is that it is not yourregular payment company. It is the processor that powers your regular paymentgateway, and Gbenga Agboola, formerly of Access Bank and one of the brainsbehind PayWithCapture (a payment product built upon the Flutterwave API),heads the company, having taken over from Iyin Aboyeji (another entry on thislist) in October 2018.6. Sim Shagaya – Serial Entrepreneur and InvestorIn 2014, Sim Shagaya was named one of Forbes’s most powerful men in Africa.Over the years, he has established himself as a father figure to many Nigeriantech entrepreneurs, having successfully founded prominent e-commerce companieslike DealDey and Konga.com, where he is currently chairman, and digitaladvertising company, E-motion.Sim is one of those people that is ever ready to help, a character trait thathas been chronicled by several entrepreneurs like Printivo’s Yomi Ojo andIrokoTV’s Jason Njoku.
13. Kola Aina – Founding Partner, Ventures PlatformKola Aina is one of Nigeria’s leading startup investors and ecosystembuilders. He is the founding partner at Ventures Platform, an an early-stagegrowth fund that has backed companies like Paystack, Mines.io, Kangpe,Wifi.com.ng, Piggybank, and Printivo, among many others.But apart from his work as an investor and managing an accelerator programme,Kola Aina plays a vital role trying to shape policy through Ventures Platform.Located in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, Ventures Platform is strategicallypositioned to help startups while staying within a earshot of the people whomake the policies that determine whether the startups thrive or fail.14. Bunmi Akinyemiju and Kunmi Demuren – Founding Partners, GreenhouseCapitalOn one hand, Bunmi and Kunmi head Greenhouse Capital, a local venture capitalfund that is now focusing on building women-led companies. On the other hand,they are CEO and Executive Director, respectively, of Ventures Garden Group, acompany that, in part, provides the aviation technology that tracks flights toand fro Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed Airport, storing crucial data in the process.Also, not many Nigerian VC funds have invested as much money in local startupsas Greenhouse Capital, having raised $40 million for 15 startups includingMax.ng, Prepclass, Flutterwave, Mines.io, and CcHUB’s Growth Capital Fund.
15. Maya Horgan Famodu – Founder, Ingressive CapitalAs important as local investors are to the ecosystem, foreign investors alsoplay a crucial role and Maya is the one person who knows how to catch theirattention. Call her The Bridge or The Plug, anyone is fine.She founded Ingressive to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley investors andthe Nigerian tech ecosystem. Ingressive also hosts community building event,bringing together tech talent and interested parties and providing a supportsystem for them to learn and grow.Maya featured on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list for 2018.16. Aniedi Udo-Obong, Program Manager, Google NigeriaIn his capacity as Google Nigeria’s program manager, Aniedi has open the doorfor Nigerian developers and technical talent to international opportunities.Playing core roles in the execution of Google DevFest events in Nigeria andSub-Saharan Africa, pushing for more Google Developer Experts from Nigeria,and getting more Nigerians to attend Google’s big I/O events.17. Juliet Ehimuan – Country Manager, Google NigeriaJuliet heads the Nigerian office of one of the world’s most powerful and mostubiquitous companies, and that puts her firmly on this list. Google, inactuality, is everywhere. When it’s not working to get more people on theInternet, it is supporting startups and nonprofits in the ecosystem throughits Google Launchpad programme.18. Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe – Co-founders, Co-creation Hub (CcHub)When Mark Zuckerberg arrived Nigeria in 2016 to tour the tech ecosystem, CcHubwas his first destination. Founded by Femi Longe and Bosun Tijani in 2010, theiconic tech hub in the heart of Yaba, Lagos has become, for many, the symbolof how far the Nigerian startup ecosystem has come.Femi and Bosun started CcHub when very few people had any idea what theInternet could do or what it meant to found and invest in a tech startup.Through sheer grit, resilience, strategic thinking, and a passion forcommunity building, the duo have embedded themselves deeply into Nigerian techfolklore, with their story similar to the stuff of legend.With Femi and Bosun at the helm of its affairs, CcHub has become the icon oftech investment, startup culture, and policy development. When they are notmentoring founders and developers, they are deep in discussion withpolicymakers, helping them navigate the complexities of the brave new world.If you are a visitor, your trip to Lagos’s budding ecosystem is incompletewithout meeting these two and checking out what is happening on 294 HerbertMacaulay Way, Yaba.19. Mark Essien, Founder/CEO, Hotels.ngBehind some of the biggest talents in the Nigerian tech ecosystem is MarkEssien’s Hotels.ng. Through its internship programmes, Mark’s startup hashelped groom many of Nigeria’s best software developers. He also opens hiscompany’s building in Yaba up for regular community meetups and small events,for free.Mark uses his influence as one of the ecosystem’s earliest success stories tofoster collaboration. He also lends his voice to social and economic issues,both directly and indirectly related to the tech ecosystem.20. ForLoop Africa – Developer CommunityForLoop Africa is the largest developer community across the continent. Thecommunity was founded by a group of software developers and techprofessionals, led by Ridwan Olalere, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Ire Aderinokun, andChristopher Nwaba, in 2016 in Nigeria, but it has spread across Africa, as aplatform for people to share knowledge, connect with each other and grow andcreate opportunities to advance each other’s career.Alongside Andela, Devcenter, and Hotels.ng’s Internship Programmes, ForLoop isone of the biggest contributors to the growth of technical talent in Nigeriaand Africa.Fintech Companies in Nigeria: The Top 10It is a well known fact that Africa is the continent with the highest unbankedpopulation. Although many have seen this as a disadvantage, many individualshave seen it as an opportunity. This has been pivotal to the growth of fintechcompanies particularly the mobile money market which has enabled millions ofAfricans send and receive money even without a bank account. AllianceInsurance Association – Advisors alliance singapore provides the financialservices which helps you in your business.This opportunity probably explains why half of the 300 million registeredmobile money accounts are located in AfricaIn Nigeria, the likes of Interswitch, Flutterwave and Paga have held sway inthe fintech space and in this post; you will a comprehensive list of thefintech companies in Nigeria and their profile.
9 Electronic Settlement Limited (ESL)
ESL provides solutions to financial/payment problems in Nigeria and Africa viaproducts like CashEnvoy – a payment gateway system that allows payments andmoney transfer online as well as PayPad – an mPOS provider in Nigeria, whichenables merchants receive payments and earn additional income via the pairingof a smart phone; and an mPOS device.
13 Chams Mobile Ltd
Chams Mobile is a partnership between Chams PLC (an indigenous listed ICTcompany) and Bancore AS (a Danish mobile financial services processor).The company was awarded its mobile money (payments) license in 2012. Apartfrom being a mobile money provider, Chams Mobile offers customers a full rangeof mobile–linked financial services through linking physical and virtual visacards to its basic wallet offering. It also provides a range of unique “cash-in” and “cash-out” methods with any bank card.
Paylater is an online lending platform providing short-term loans to helpcover unexpected expenses or urgent cash needs.You can apply for a Paylater loan anytime of the day and the applicationprocess is quite fast and it allows applicants to know their status withinminutes.
This list is by no means exhaustive as there are new fintech companiesspringing up everyday.If you know any company that hasn’t being reviewed in this post, feel free tomention in the comment section.Top 15 Leading Fintech Companies in NigeriaThe world is becoming more remote and people prefer to be in the comfort oftheir room doing all transactions. Cash at hand is now so obsolete, even largetransactions can now be made online as it makes life easier. But with rumoursof being scammed online, one has to be careful when making payments online,and for this, trusted fintech companies come to play. American Deposit Management What is Fintech – Financial Technology? – ADM Source: American Deposit ManagementRead Also: 15 Leading Loan Sites in Nigeria, Their Requirements, InterestRates and How to Apply
Fintech Companies and What They Do
Fintech is a short form of Financial Technology, and as its name implies, itdeals with making use of the technology (internet services, softwareapplication, cloud storage) for financial services or purposes. The servicesprovided by them differ from the ones provided by bank institutions.Fintech companies seem to be giving banks tough competition and they are notbacking out. This is forcing banks to make extra efforts in their services.Information Guides Nigeria
Top 15 Leading Fintech Companies in Nigeria
There are many Fintech companies in Nigeria but this list is a compilation ofapproved and tested ones. They make financial services open to all and allowpayments on different platforms, thereby making life easier for us. In nospecific order, they are; Leading Fintech Companies
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