Nigerian startup prayerbox is “Twitter for religion”

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Nigerian startup prayerbox, which provides an online platform for religious communities to connect and claims to have made US$11,000 in revenue even prior to launch, has gone live.

prayerbox is a graduate of the just-concluded 440.ng accelerator programme in Lagos, which held its Demo Day last night with nine startups pitching to an audience of investors.

The site allows people to share prayers and testimonies while connecting with their religious, with chief executive officer (CEO) Oyelaja Oyekan Adebambo telling Disrupt Africa its ease of use meant it could be seen as “Twitter for religion”.

“People are confined to gathering together religiously once a week in most religions, and during these gatherings there are a lot of people,” he said.

“Connecting to religious leaders this way is difficult, hence prayerbox. The platform allows users to connect to their religious leaders anytime, anywhere. It also gives them a platform through which they can connect religiously outside their religious gatherings.”

Adebambo said the company generates revenue from relevant and targeted advertising around religious content, and had already generated US$11,000 from a church prior to its launch yesterday.

“In the future we will explore e-commerce by allowing religious communities to create online stores and sell through their prayerbox pages,” he said.

“Also we’ll help churches facilitate mobile payments of tithes and offerings, as their current method of collecting payments in cash is inflexible. For this we will charge a fee from our payments processing partners.”

He said the 440.ng programme – a joint venture between 88mph and L5Lab investing in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria – had taught him a lot about the fundamentals of starting a business and keeping it alive.

“I networked a lot and learnt the core strategies of the lean startup methodology. Most importantly I am a better business person than I was before the programme,” Adebambo said.

He said the team was now focusing on improving the platform, and said prayerbox was not confined to Nigeria but rather a solution that could be used by religious communities globally.

“Prayer is global and this is a solution for the world. We’re already signing up users from India and Ukraine just a day after launch!” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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