Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie

Co-founder & COO, Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie

Nairabox is a lifestyle wallet application that allows users to make payments for different services. We have been able to add many services to the application, for example buying mobile airtime and paying bills, such as satellite television, utilities, and toll fees. We are also the only aggregator for major cinemas across Nigeria, and users are able to buy cinema tickets online. We use this same technology to sell tickets to events through the application. We are plugged into all the premium events taking place, especially over the holiday periods. Nairabox is the preferred choice for event promoters because our technology allows for crowd control and has other features. Customers can show up at an event with their phone or just their phone number and redeem their digital ticket. Many start-ups in Africa are looking at Silicon Valley and believe they have to proceed in a certain way and find Series A investors to fund their ideas; however, it is not always the case. Before the whole technology boom and the popularity of Silicon Valley, there were companies in Nigeria that grew from small shops without the whole co-founder and investor network concept. Start-ups need to understand that it is all about getting partnerships: that is key.

Segun Adeyemi

Co-founder & CEO, Amplified Payment Systems Limited – Amplify

Amplified Payment Systems started in 2015 but was officially registered in 2016. We are a financial technology company that works in the electronic payments space. We help businesses that accept regular payments to automate the entire process, from collections to disbursements and management of their payments. When we launched, our target segment was mostly Internet or technology businesses. Over time, we realized that many non-bank financial institutions needed what we were offering. Now, many of our clients are finance houses and credit companies. These include micro-finance institutions, consumer loan companies, insurance companies, asset management companies, mortgage firms and internet companies such as e-commerce companies, subscription businesses, and entities that do bill payments. The opportunities for collaboration have significantly improved; there is now an ecosystem of developers, designers, engineers and business people that is being stimulated by these tech hubs. The tech hubs have also brought positive media attention to the sector and country as a result of some of their impactful works in developing technical skills and harmonizing the tech ecosystem. Tech hubs are creating a central point where not just web developers but also other stakeholders, such as investors and corporates, can come in, mix, and collaborate. Collaboration is the way to grow the tech industry in Nigeria.

Olude Olalekan

Founder, Jobberman

Iam one of the co-founders of Jobberman, which was set up in 2009. Since then, we have grown to be the biggest online recruitment platform in West Africa in terms of revenue, traffic, and number of subscribers. The employment market in Nigeria changes every year. In the beginning, with the problems of online scams in Nigeria, it was difficult to convince Nigerians that our website was not a scam and that we are here to stay and redefine the market. In terms of the Nigerian jobs market as a whole, we have had great successes as well as our own share of challenges. We work with the government at different levels to help solve unemployment. With Lagos and Kaduna states, for example, we are working to build a database of unemployed candidates considering the fact that this is important for policy direction. At the federal level, we have a partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics where we give access to our dataset. One of the things that we seek to do is further focus on extending our reach within Nigeria, West Africa, and Africa as a whole. For example, Jobberman is based in Nigeria and Ghana; however, we also have investment-type partnerships with BrighterMonday in East Africa.