Blog Nigeriana

A Growing Tech Capital

When we think of industrialisation and growing tech capitals, many will look to China as being on the forefront of the growth, for those already established eyes turn to America and Silicon Valley with the huge hubs such as Apple and Google representing as the major players. But in recent years, attention is being pulled elsewhere – the continent of Africa, and the Nigerian business hub city of Lagos – and although other countries in the region such as Kenya are also pulling in a lot of investment, Nigeria is at the center of it all as throughout 2019 in received nearly 50% of all foreign investment in to tech startups.

Gaining the reputation of being the Silicon Valley of Africa, Nigeria is quickly growing to become one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the world as investors flock to the rising numbers of startup companies and the reach they’re having. 2019 saw a total funding of over $1.3 billion to startups in Africa, with the majority of the money being invested into Nigerian startups. 

This doesn’t come without its own unique challenges, however, as the continent is still trying to establish a strong infrastructure in the modern tech world amongst the unique internal challenges many countries within the continent face – but despite this many start-ups are having a very strong showing.

IROKOTV can be seen as one of the big success stories from the region – dubbed the Netflix of Africa and founded in 2011, it has managed to carve its own path through the growing market, but has moved passed a title of start-up – as mobile banking and money sharing apps continue to grow and dominate in the west, we see similar start-up developments here doing very well. Apps such as OPay and PalmPay are amongst the bigger success stories here as in 2019 they were able to secure a combined $210 million in funding.

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As the infrastructure in local areas continues to grow, the rise of logistics platforms are also finding increased success as start-ups such as Lori and Kobo 360 secure $50 million in investment.

It may not be long before focus shifts back toward entertainment too, especially in a period of lockdown – the mobile gaming market across the world has been seeing a tremendous growth during these unprecedented times. iGaming products, puzzle games and growing developer interest, combined with the devices we use being designed with that in mind, have seen expected growth rates of  2.9% year on year until 2024 with growth figures set to hit $56.6 billion. This is not least because of the technological advances of such products increasing consumer demand and interaction from them.

A good example is some of the new casinos that offer AI on their platforms, which includes technology such as chat bots. Furthermore, these products are also working with some of the most reputable software providers, including IGT who are using HTML5 technology to ensure that you don’t even need to download the app to experience a seamless gaming experience.

Security has evolved with technology too, ensuring user data is kept safer than ever – the evolution and improvement of encrypted channels has seen faith and trust in operators enhanced to new heights – something which can’t be overlooked, as we’ve seen all too often the impact of data breaches in other products.

Experts have suggested the growth was primed in the regions ability to leapfrog traditional infrastructure barriers – they’ve been able to witness the growth of the market through other countries, to find what has had success but to also develop unique solutions that fit its own market too. It’s also clear that 2020 shows no signs of slowing this down and investment and growth is expected to continue very much as it did throughout 2019.

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As other services offered such as Jiji, which is comparable to eBay, continue to grow the spread of tech across the country will also continue to grow – increased usage could be reflected in the lower cost of services such as mobile internet which are currently much higher than elsewhere which serves as a little barrier to entry – but as mentioned even despite all the challenges and teething issues that are faced the market is performing extremely well and only seeing growth.