It is an incredibly exciting time to be in Nigeria’s technology startup ecosystem.
Despite widespread economic malaise, Nigeria’s Telecommunications and Information Services, the best proxy for the growth of tech-powered companies in the country, has grown by 57% since 2017, compared to overall national GDP growth of 6%. In effect, the sector has grown ten times faster than the wider economy in the last half-decade.
Yet that’s not the most impressive statistic.
In 2021, Nigeria’s startups raised $1.8 billion in venture capital (VC) funding, more than Kenya and South Africa combined ($1.4 billion). And the money keeps rolling in. In the first quarter of 2022, Nigerian startups raised $600 million, nearly double the amount raised in the whole of 2020 and 80% of the 2019 value. In fact, 2019 is the only year where Nigerian startups raised more than $600 million—the value they have raised so far in 2022.
Everyone is excited. Well, not everyone.