Top 5 Nigerian startup developments in 2017


Another landmark year in the development of the Nigerian tech startup space, with the huge Andela funding round probably the standout moment.

Yet much more than that happened in 2017. Disrupt Africa wraps up the best bits.

Andela’s landmark funding round

How could we start with anything else? Coding school Andela announced in October it had secured US$40 million in Series C funding from a host of investors, taking its total venture funding to over US$80 million.

The round was led by pan-African firm CRE Venture Capital (catch up with co-founder Pule Taukobong here), and will be used to fuel Andela’s pan-African expansion.

A quick mention too for former Andela co-founder Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, whose new venture – payments startup Flutterwave – secured funding of its own in August, a US$10 million Series A round.

CcHub expands its scope

Nigerian incubator Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) had an even busier year than most, exhibited mainly by its European PitchDrive, held in partnership with Google. CcHub took 14 startups from across Africa to various European hubs to pitch to potential investors and partners.

There were also two programmes launched in partnership with Union Bank, and a diaspora challenge, while the hub also signed a multinational partnership to boost STEM learning across Africa.

You can read about how Bosun Tijani turned CcHub into such a beacon of the tech scene here.

TopCheck acquired

February saw Nigerian financial services comparison platform TopCheck – which had already closed two funding rounds in its first year of operation, get acquired by South Africa’s Silvertree Internet Holdings,

The TopCheck platform allows users to compare prices of financial products such as various types of insurance, and loans. It has now joined Silvertree’s subsidiary Compare Africa Group (CAG), which offers online price comparison of goods and services across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

It was another busy year for Silvertree, which is getting more active in Nigeria. In March, it exited its joint venture with Ringier Africa to take full ownership of Nigerian discount online shopping platform DealDey.

Nigerian startups attractive to overseas accelerators

Nigerian tech startups are proving more and more attractive to overseas accelerator programmes, with Printivo, Fyodor Biotechnologies, MailHaven, and Mobile Forms all making it onto 500 Startups programmes in 2017.

Kudi and Releaf made it into Y Combinator, while Aella Credit – an alumni of both programmes – secured funding from each of 500 Startups and Y Combinator. E-health startup Curacel Health graduated from the Dubai 100 accelerator, meanwhile.

Lagos Africa’s most valuable startup ecosystem

Lagos has the most valuable startup ecosystem in Africa, with the local entrepreneurship scene worth US$2 billion, according to March report.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report and Ranking 2017, produced by Startup Genome in collaboration with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), was based on conversations with entrepreneurs and data on startups.

No African country made the top 20, but Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg warranted mention in the report. At US$2 billion, the Lagos startup ecosystem is the most valuable in Africa continent, but only second after Cape Town in terms of the number of startups.


About Author

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.

Leave A Reply