440.ng startup Jay Osbie goes live with online fashion store

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Jay Osbie, an online retailer for men currently taking part in the 440.ng accelerator programme in Lagos, Nigeria, has gone live.

The site specifically targets men, which chief executive officer (CEO) Adejuwon Isola-Osobu told Disrupt Africa is a niche market, and designs and manufactures its own fashion items.

“Jay Osbie retails a line of super-styled ready to wear Nigerian trads and casuals. Most of our prospective customers have been frustrated by tailors at one point or the other and we see our line as a solution to their problem,” said Isola-Osobu.

The startup is taking part in the 440.ng programme in Lagos, and will pitch at Demo Day in two weeks. Isola-Osobu said the team has learnt a lot from the programme.

“It’s been a great experience working out the same space with other young entrepreneurs who share the same hopes, aspirations and sometimes frustrations,” he said. “Also, working with seasoned investors like Chika (Nwobi) and Kresten (Buch) has been tremendous in terms of the kind of mentors they’ve been able to attract and connections the startups have made through these mentors. It’s the stuff of dreams really.”

He said Jay Osbie is focused solely on Nigeria for at least the next three years.

“In Lagos alone, there are at least 2 million potential Jay Osbie customers and we think this is a big enough market. In terms of expansion, we would increase the diversity of our inventory before considering geographic growth,” he said.

“E-commerce is the future of Africa. Africans are natural traders. In Lagos you cannot move 300 metres without seeing a shop or stall. E-commerce generalists in Nigeria ship thousands of orders daily and I think they’re only just scratching the surface. There is an estimated 1 million online shoppers in Nigeria at the moment and there’s potential to grow that by at least 500 per cent with better broadband penetration in the next five years.”

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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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