2022 was a rollercoaster of tech companies and their founders trying, sometimes succeeding, other times failing to solve the problems that continue to rage the millennial Nigerian.
In the seemingly trial-and-error method that is startup culture, tech companies have been adapting their products to fit into the everyday lives of Nigerians. For many startups, it’s about meeting their consumers where the shoes hurt the most.
Of course, there were many startups whose aim all through the year was laser-focused on being the solution to the problems on everyone’s lips. But only a few achieved this in 2022.
Below, we’ve looked at five tech companies that were able to impact the streets in 2022.
What this list pays attention to is not just companies with the most profitable and successful business models. But really companies that have impacted the streets all through the year.
The tech companies on this list delivered impacts, at times at the peril of their profitability, by introducing alien business models to the Nigerian economy. But those products turned out to be what the country had needed for years.
For this list, I examined the ubiquitousness of the companies, brand-name familiarity on the streets and solutions solved.
See below the tech companies that impacted the streets in 2022.
If you had at some point been to the city of Lagos or its environs, you would have seen the handiwork of the ambitious mobility financing company Moove; tiny Suzuki cars that have become the backbone of the cheaper Uber Go.
UberGo drivers Technext spoke to said they have some five years to pay for the car. This is not the typical hire purchase contract you get in Nigeria. Microfinance banks and other financial institutions that give out hire purchase financing products in the country are less likely to give customers five years to pay back.
But the company, to sustain itself, will need to continue to raise a lot before it becomes fully profitable, say some six to seven years from now. Already Moove has raised over 250 million dollars since it launched just two years ago.
Chowdeck is a young and boisterous food delivery and marketplace start-up that burst on the scene last year and almost immediately gained popularity among young millennials and Gen Zers early this year. Due to its faster delivery time and seamless app, it has impacted the streets in ways that would not have been conceived possible for a tech company.
Many tech companies bill themselves as fast, but in reality, they are slower. While they might have some products that are really fast, local interbank transactions take longer, sometimes up to five days, to reflect with many fintech. Chowdeck was able to break through the noise and deliver on its promise of speed and accuracy.
Even though it now has the better-funded fast food companies – The Place and Chicken Republic – on board, the smaller Instagram food vendors where the iconic firewood jollof rice by King Glabs immediately found a cult following remain its calling card.
Opay and MoniePoint
These two companies, Opay and MoniePoint, are on the list because they made their mark with very aggressive marketing and grassroots work that propelled a successful integration all through the years.
What is striking about them is that they didn’t come into a new field. POS agents have ballooned thanks to Paga, whose strict verification policy could be its Achilles hill.
Opay and MoniePoint have been players in the ecosystem for years, but this was the year of their money operator products. They tactically moved from just POS money withdrawal agents to giving out POS to businesses looking for that payment option for their customers.
However, next year will tell of the work still ahead to overtake Paga, which has dominated the field so much so that it has become the common noun for all money operators.
This was also the year of the betting company, SportyBet. The company emerged as the winner of the betting industry, taking over Bet9ja, which had been the marque word for the industry among fans and punters.
SportyBet rose to fame for its swift payment of wins, attractive odds and seductive bonuses, which led punters all over the country to run to it.
But its success was also its bane. After the code of a wager that went viral saw multiple customers winning millions of naira one weekend, it tried to withhold their earnings or slash it, leading to backlash from fans of their beloved company.
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