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Tech and its Multibillion-Dollar Industry on the Mainland

There are a plethora of things to love about Lagos Mainland, but there are also several things a lot of people might not know. Like how It’s home to a lot of thriving industries and sectors.  And in the past few years, it has built a foundation for the tech industry.  The Tech industry in Nigeria began to emerge in the 90s with new companies springing up to provide payment solutions for users unsatisfied with the banking system.

The growth of the tech sector on mainland Lagos has continued to thrive and it has become an incubator for some of the nation’s biggest startups. We’ve seen a high influx of people willing to learn tech within the past  5 years. The industry has continued to open doors and create opportunities for the willing amid the economy’s steady decline.

While there are global tech hubs sprawled all over Lagos, there’s a special emphasis on the Mainland– The centre of Lagos’s technology industry is Yaba, a colonial-era suburb of the city; fondly called ‘Yabacon Valley’ because is reminiscent of Silicon Valley in the United States.  Yaba is either a home or headquarters to some of the continents most prominent startups in recent years. 

There are also other startups spread across central places on the mainland. 

So in no particular order, here are some of the most popular fintech companies on the mainland. 

  1. KUDA: Kuda is one of the many fintech companies in “yabacon valley” and is co-founded by Babs Ogundey and Musty Mustapha in 2015. It deals in banking, fintech and other financial services.  (Yaba)

2. PAYSTACK:  Paystack was Founded in 2015 by Nigerian entrepreneurs Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. Last year, it was announced that the fintech startup had been acquired by U.S payment giant Stripe for $200 million. A year later, they have continued to evolve and help small businesses. They are now present across three countries in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. (IKEJA)

3. COWRYWISE: Cowrywise is a FinTech company that provides access to premium financial services by making these services available to the mass market at a cheap rate. It was founded in  2017 With Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed as its CEO and Co-founders. They handle wealth management, personal finance and other financial services. (IKEJA)

4. PAGA: It was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu. Paga is direct to consumer mobile payments service. With over 10 million customers as of 2019,  Paga allows its customers to turn their mobile phones into mobile wallets. It allows them by sending cash to send cash, purchase airtime credit, pay bills and retailers. (YABA)

5. JUMIA: Jumia Nigeria is one of the leading online shops in Nigeria and was founded by Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor along with Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec in February 2012 With over 6 million products and over 4 million subscribers,  The e-commerce platform allows customers to buy and sell and also provides door to door service via Jumia courier or pick up at a nearby station. It has spread its branches to other services like Jumia food and Jumia pay (Yaba)

6. ANDELA: Founded in 2014 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. Andela was created to bridge the gap between companies and engineering talents in emerging markets. Andela first started in Lagos has now reached multiple planets and counting. They handle human resources, consulting and other services. (Ilupeju)

7. Gokada: Founded by the late Fahim Saleh in 2017,Gokada is a leading technology start-up that started with the aim of providing a faster means of transportation for Lagosians. It has grown to become a leading logistics company and their services include instant parcel delivery, food delivery, ride-hailing and more. (Onipanu)

8.  Opay: Also known as Opera Pay.  OPay is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payment, transportation, food and grocery delivery, and other important services for everyday use. With its head office at Ikeja. Opay was founded by Yahiu in June 2018. (Ikeja)

9. Konga: Founded in 2012 by Sim Shagaya. Konga is a Nigerian e-commerce company founded in July 2012.  It offers a third-party online market, as well as first-party direct retail ranging across various categories. Konga has gone on to win several awards including Online Retailer of the Year in 2013 (Gbagada)

10. Palmpay: PalmPay is a simple and secure payment app that give rewards owned by Transnet. This app lets to send quick cash between friends and pay for airtime and utilities.  Launched in 2019, the app is on the list of financial services in Nigeria. The payments app comes pre-installed on Transsion’s mobile phone brands including Tecno, Itel and Infinix.

Honorary mentions include: Tech companies like Co-Creation Hub (which houses a huge number of tech startups) and PrepClass can be found in Yaba. 

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Ibukunoluwa Okusanya
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