How best to start the New Year than looking back at Nigerian technology startups to meet their Waterloo in 2019, and see if perhaps there are some lessons for those still holding on to the game.
So, we thought it wise to revisit the technology startups failing points that other companies might learn from their mistake and perhaps be able to survive through this year and beyond. Despite some good news on huge fundraising rounds and sort of flamboyant personalities behind the Nigerian startups, still the reality remains that running a startup in Nigeria is hard work.
More so, since in our business environment where the supposed internet usage figures don’t actually match active users, with lopsided government regulatory obstacles, it goes without saying that many startups don't survive beyond the first five years. Find below the Nigerian Technology startups to meet their Waterloo in 2019.
MyPadi was founded in August 2016 by Joel Amawhe, formely HostelsVila and Studacom.ng, as a hyper-local online platform that was geared towards making stress-free school starting with provision of easy access to housing for the students, including those on the National Youth Service Corps service in Nigeria.
The startup was estimated to have generated an annual revenue in excess of $1m in 2018. And it pride itself as the go-to-guys to connect students with affordable accommodations on or off campus across several of Nigerian higher institutions.
MyPadi integrates the whole process of searching, and reaching out to house owners, also booking hostels and roommates into one safe and secure, hassle-free platform. But then, what went wrong? Since May 2019, the website operations seem to have been suspended, with all social media activities, and contact phone remained unreachable till date.
OyaPay was a promising Nigerian fintech startup that almost joined the ranks of Flutterwave, Paga, and PayStack, to mention but a few of those startups that have emerged as leaders in the country's fintech space.
Founded in 2017 by a team of 3 co-founders led by Abdulhamid Hassan, who also serve as the CEO, the platform catered for offline businesses, helping them to accept payments and forward orders from their customers with or without a phone.
But problem started when the startup was seeking for investors, the initial backers were said to be family member who pushed against the idea of adding new investors. The situation got worst and unresolved for several months, leading to the eventual shut down of the startup.
DealDey was founded in 2011 by Sim Shagaya (also the founder of Konga) and in 2015, the company was already numbered among Nigeria’s biggest eCommerce platforms, with $5 million funding from Kinnevik. But things took a different turn shortly afterwards, leading to the laying off about 60% of its workforce.
However, the company in 2016, was acquired by Ringier Africa Deals Group (RADG), a joint venture between Swiss Ringier Africa AG and South African Silvertree Internet Holdings (Pty) Ltd, for $5 million — which is a meager amount compared to the owners original offer to sell for $75 million.
The company was officially announced as dead in January 2019, following a month of inactivity on the website and social media pages. DealDey offices in the country were also closed up and the workers haven been laid off since.