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The Rise of Tech Startups in Nigeria: A Promising Landscape

21/04/20247 minute read
The Rise of Tech Startups in Nigeria - A Promising Landscape

Nigeria has a rapidly diversifying economy, and it is one of Africa’s largest. Nigeria was dependent on oil in the past, but it is currently being enwrapped with innovation and technology. This unplanned shift creates a critical moment, especially in changing the economic narrative and enhancing that promising landscape Nigerians have hoped for.

In buzzing cities like Lagos and Abuja, an entirely new tech wave is rising: tech startups. What comes to your mind when you hear startups? Small-scale ventures and businesses, if I’m right? But that’s not what this is about. The startups here are not mainly small-scale ventures. They are the motors of growth that will tremendously transform Nigeria’s economic landscape.

These tech startups have influenced known business sectors and reanalyzed how Nigerians work, live, and interact. This amazing rise in tech startups keeps up with global digitalization trends. Nevertheless, it has taken a different turn in Nigeria as the enterprising spirit will keep it going. Tech startups in Nigeria have provided solutions to diverse problems that range from financial inclusion to health accessibility.

It’s now normal to say that Nigeria’s tech ecosystem has rapidly evolved, creating new economic growth and development opportunities. Nigeria’s digital economy has superb potential, with more than 200 million people, a growing number of active internet users, and rising tech startups. This is monumental enough to propel tech startups into every nook and cranny of Nigeria.

Nigerian startups like Paystack, Flutterwave, Vendease, Reliance Health, etc, have gained international recognition in recent years. And that’s a way of seeing that Nigeria is going global, all the way up to that promising landscape. This recognition has contributed to the rise of tech startups in Nigeria, establishing the reputation of the nation as a tech hub within Africa.


Some other sectors, like fintech, e-commerce, Agritech, health tech, etc., have witnessed peculiar growth. The rise of tech startups in Nigeria has indeed been a promising landscape that probably no one could imagine. This growth has recorded about 200 active tech startups, more than $2 billion in funding from 2019, and a tech sector growth surpassing 30% per annum. It might be thrilling to know that this growth is not just about the numbers but about genuine impact. The rise in tech startups is steadily creating jobs in Nigeria, where unemployment has been a major challenge for the youths. The rise of tech startups in Nigeria has helped in offering careers that didn’t exist donkey years ago. A new era of employment opportunities has been carefully niched out, an era where working remotely has been embraced and is no longer acknowledged as laziness. An era of evolution is upon us! A promising landscape.

The Nigerian Tech Ecosystem

The Nigerian tech ecosystem is a vibrant and hastily evolving space. This exciting journey can be traced back to the early 2000s. In those years, technology mainly evolved around basic computing and frequent visits to internet cafes.

In today’s world, with the rise of tech startups in Nigeria, the scene is completely distinguishable. In Africa, Nigeria is standing strong as the tech powerhouse. That’s an amazing milestone for a promising landscape because the nation is not going back anytime soon.

This outstanding metamorphosis did not occur in the twinkle of an eye, but it encountered baby phases to reach where we are today. The first phase was the advancement in internet accessibility, and then mobile technology came on board. These phases made room for the digital revolution and the rise of tech startups.

Currently, Nigeria is getting global attention. And that’s only the way forward.


Key Statistics

Let’s assume figures will do it better. The figures below should tell the story most easily. As a Nigerian, you might be asking where this growth is happening. Nigeria’s tech ecosystem undoubtedly flourishes more in the urban areas.

  • Active tech startups: Currently more than 400.
  • Annual rate of growth: Approximately 35%.
  • Total funding (From 2019-2022): Approximately $2 billion.

The Growth of the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem

The rise of tech startups in Nigeria has led to the growth of the tech ecosystem. Lagos has been seen as the home to more than 60% of tech startups in Nigeria. The key focus areas here include Fintech and E-commerce. Abuja is also an intensely growing tech community. Other hubs in places like Ibadan and Port Harcourt can’t be left out.

Every hub significantly has something unique to offer the tech ecosystem. With its buzzing city energy, Lagos has notably been the heart of fintech and e-commerce in Nigeria. Abuja builds that striking balance between government support and the never-ending entrepreneurial spirit. The tech ecosystem is mainly focused on a growing community and not just startups and necessarily.

The Nigerian tech startups are not fully bent on mimicking every global trend but rather innovating for local needs. This ecosystem is focused on finding a way out of local challenges. Hence, the solutions are pivotal for the reality of Nigeria.  Going ahead, the tech ecosystem will only get better as many more Nigerians will wholeheartedly embrace tech. This cycle of innovation paves the way for itself because more startups means more innovation. This particular ecosystem is dynamic and has a promising landscape.

The Leading Tech Startups and Their Impact

In Nigeria’s evolving tech startup era, we can’t deny that some startups stand out. They are not only businesses but pathfinders. Let’s explore some of the pioneering startups.


1. Paystack:  This leading startup was formed in 2015, and it helped simplify online payments for businesses and individuals.

      Paystack was acquired by Stripe in 2020 for over 200 million dollars.

      Impact: This tech startup has greatly impacted the growth of e-commerce and brought about jobs in tech-related fields.

      2. Andela: This training and talent powerhouse was launched in 2014. Its aim is to train software engineers and help connect them to worldwide tech companies.

      More than a thousand engineers have been employed so far.


      Impact: Development of skills, provision of good paying jobs, enhancing an excellent tech culture.

      3. Flutterwave: This peculiar tech startup, founded in 2016, has significantly helped to bridge financial gaps. Since then, it has been offering easy payment solutions across Africa.

      Impact: Flutterwave has empowered small businesses to grow and created numerous opportunities in the fintech sector.

      These startups have gone a long way to redesign Nigeria’s employment Landscape, and not only economic contributions. Tech jobs no longer revolve around programming; other roles have been introduced. So, if you don’t like programming, there are other tech-related jobs and skills that you can acquire.

      Opportunities in Tech

      There are many tech opportunities that don’t get talked about enough. The boom in Nigeria’s tech startups is restructuring the job market. Do you want to know the big flex here? These jobs reflect the dynamic nature of the tech world.


      Jobs Created By Tech Startups

      • Software Development
      • Digital Marketing
      • Data Analysis
      • Product Management
      • User Experience (UX) Design
      • Cybersecurity

      These job opportunities can be seen as pathways to mastering hypercritical tech skills, which are really in demand in today’s job market.

      Challenges Faced By Tech Startups In Nigeria

      The rise of tech startups side-by-side comes with different challenges. Some of the challenges encountered include:

      • Funding: Having access to capital for growth and expansion has never been easy.
      • Infrastructure: Substandard tech infrastructure hinders innovation by tech startups.
      • Lack of skilled Professionals: Having access to skilled professionals has also been a major obstacle to the rise of these startups in Nigeria.

      Solutions to Challenges

      • Skill Development: To address the tech skills gap, education and training should be focused on.
      • Funding Support: Every startup needs support. Hence, more funding avenues should be created. These avenues include venture capital and angel investors.
      • Infrastructure Development: Tech infrastructure, such as internet connectivity, should be a huge investment for any startup.

      Aside from these, it is highly commendable that the Nigerian Government has already taken steps to support the tech industry.

      The Bottom Line

      Although challenges exist, they are not indomitable. With proper solutions and implemented government policies, the rise of tech startups will continue to grow until we get to a promising landscape.

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