7 Nigerian start-ups to watch out for in 2017

We ended 2016 in anticipation of wonderful things in 2017, particularly in the startup scene. All said and done, the new year is already upon us, but somehow, it seems already far spent for startups who are looking to make every moment count.
A few startups left us with quite an impression in the past year, and we are trusting on a new set to carry on the momentum.
Here are 7 startups we are betting on to take 2017 by storm.


The sub-optimal standard of education in Nigeria has given innovators a huge opportunity to transform the educational sector. So when Godwin Benson’s Tuteria launched in March 2015, its biggest task was probably pushing the platform to the point where it could be mentioned in a similar tone with already existing and established competitors.
Things took a positive turn nearly a year later when the startup made one of 10 selections for Co-Creation Hub’s three-month Growth Academy accelerator programme.
The partnership seems to have paid off, as Tuteria claims to have registered over 7,500 vetted tutors across the country on its platform. However, the biggest turning point for Godwin, it would seem, was when he made headlines for catching the attention of Mark Zuckerberg during his famous visit to the country.


Africa is said to have the lowest doctor to patient ratio in the world (with an average of 2 doctors to every 10,000 people), leaving many with little or no access a doctor. Those with the means often endure inefficient hospital systems.
Access to a comprehensive, quality health care is crucial for the achievement of healthy life and it goes without saying that everyone dreams of having a personal doctor at their beckon. However, nothing beats the prospects of having access right inside their pocket.
In July 2015, Femi Kuti, a doctor and an investment banker, launched Kangpe, a service that connects patients with verified doctors via SMS, mobile app and web 24 hours a day. Interestingly, the startup has been in the news of late. First Kangpe secured $2,500 at a recent TechCircle-organized Meetup, and then went on to win Seedstars Lagos 2016.


Excellence and quality assurance are known prerequisites to unlocking demand, and gaining a greater foothold in seemingly crowded markets. However, in the case of RecyclePoints, it appears a simple reminder of the “good old days” was all it needed to gain considerable traction in its niche market.
Being an emerging platform that it is, RecyclePoints left many in awe of its incentive-based model of waste collection that is oddly reminiscent of the old traditional system of exchanging a specific quantity of clean recyclables (mostly bottles) for cash. The only difference, in this case, is that the model allocates “points” to the quantity of recyclable items neatly collected at the point of disposal by post-consumers who in turn use the earned “points” to redeem numerous identified household items and services.
While we cannot categorically tell the exact amount of engagement on the platform, it would be unwise to discredit the uniqueness of the model. In addition, we cannot overlook the fact that it has put them in the spotlight; emerging from nowhere to be shortlisted among three finalists for the Aso Villa Demo Day.
Further proving that it is no fluke, RecyclePoints recently emerged winner of the ₦1million grand prize at the regional final of the Chivas Regal annual competition. By extension, the startup would compete against 32 other global finalists at the international stage in Los Angeles later this year.

Accounting Hub

Many of us probably already know Chioma Ifeanyi Eze and how her desire to increase the survival rate of small businesses in Africa — by providing them credible numbers for optimal decisions in their businesses — led her to found Accounting Hub.
It is true that accounting at its core communicates a lot of information that owners, managers, and investors need to evaluate a company’s financial performance. However, it is a messy situation when businesses cannot afford the services of an accountant, are made to pay exorbitant fees and/or get quack accounting service in exchange for a sizeable fee.
So since its emergence in the startup scene, Accountinghub.ng has identified and catered for the huge gap between what Nigeria’s Small and Medium businesses need and what regular accounting firms offer.
While it claims to have introduced virtual, retail and tech-accounting in Nigeria, the startup has been able to lower the services of accounting for small business. For all it’s worth, the gesture has been well received.


The last few years have brought a sudden rise in companies inherently enabled by new messaging technologies. So when Olayinka Oluwakuse pivoted his defunct Balogunmarket.ng to a conversational style, it was seen as a welcome development.
First from left, Olayinka Oluwakuse, founder of Buychat
First from left, Olayinka Oluwakuse, founder of Buychat
BuyChat’s model is particularly interesting as it attempts to disrupt the traditional eCommerce using a simple messaging channel (SMS, WhatsApp etc) as a new interface for its core business. The critical element of this new suite of services is that customers can now engage and interact with brands using natural language.
Conversational commerce integrates technologies consumers enjoy — such as chat, messaging or other natural-language interfaces — with artificial intelligence so that people can interact with brands or services through bots.
It’s ability to gather personal information about customers — say their shopping habits, offer tips and reviews about products, and even purchase items all without leaving the messenger — makes it a goldmine for monetization.


Kudi may not be a strong household name yet, but you would do well to remember them now because this certainly won’t be the last you will hear of them.
As the FinTech landscape in Nigeria, with each passing day, approaches maturation, local players are becoming more pragmatic in their approach to not only solve problems of payment but also gain a major footing in this space. What Kudi is however, doing with its Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbot is something to admire.
Built to use everyday conversational style to communicate with users, Kudi carries out everyday transactions (like payment for recurring bills, airtime top-up, fund transfer etc) on behalf of the user when prompted accordingly.


Last but not the least, Docotal (Digital doctors) is also another start up to definitely watch out this 2017. though not known for now, but it promises free online medical consultancy for all the medical specialties incling G.P, family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, neurosurgery, radiology and imaging, general surgery, etc.

Co-founded by 3 cuban trained doctors, Dr Nnamdy Elenwoke, Dr Ushie U. Odey, Dr Okechukwu Ekemezie( 3 famous musical doctors also known as medicos de la salsa).
Although still a work in progress, Docotal (www.docotal.com) will soon launch its own app,  be available on skype for video calling with your preferred doctor, on messenger and whatsapp.

Due to the multi liguistic abilities of its doctors, Docotal is spreading like wild-fire across Africa among anglophones, francophones and portuguese speaking countries like cape verde, angola, with also  a mention of its strong presence in the Latin American continent.

These young revolutionary doctors have promised to uberfy healthcare in Nigeria and Africa beyond.

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