Fi­nan­cial, crypto, biotech start-ups in Nige­ria at­tract big­gest deals in Q1

Business Day (Nigeria) - - START-UP DIGEST - JOSEPHINE OKOJIE

Nige­ria’s start-ups at­tracted over $ 126mil­lion in­vest­ment deals in the first nine months in 2020 de­spite the COVID-19 out­break that has ob­structed the global econ­omy.

A re­cent ven­ture cap­i­tal data com­piled by Star­tu­plist Africa – a data-driven plat­form that fo­cuses on African start-ups— show that star­tups in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices, crypto and biotech­nol­ogy in­dus­tries ac­counted for the largest in­vest­ment deals for the pe­riod.

The fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try at­tracted $46mil­lion (38per­cent) in in­vest­ment deals for the pe­riod. This was fol­lowed by star­tups in the crypto in­dus­try with $17mil­lion in­vest­ment deals; biotech­nol­ogy with $15mil­lion; health­care with $ 11mil­lion; e- com­merce with $ 10mil­lion, and re­new­able with $ 7mil­lion. Oth­ers ac­count for the re­main­ing.

Ex­perts in the coun­try’s start- up ecosys­tem say it is an in­di­ca­tion that en­trepreneur­ship is gain­ing mo­men­tum in the coun­try.

“Start- ups in Nige­ria have cre­ated thou­sands of jobs and ac­tiv­i­ties within the ecosys­tem and this is striv­ing to con­sol­i­date the na­tion’s sta­tus as a top­notch in­ter­na­tional hub by at­tract­ing in­vestors and stim­u­late en­trepreneur­ship in the coun­try,” O.O. Nwoye, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Tech Cir­cle, said.

Nwoye ex­plained that Nige­ria was tran­si­tion­ing into a dy­namic ecosys­tem of­fer­ing start-ups a plat­form to po­ten­tially grow into mil­lion-dol­lar busi­nesses.

“Last year, tech com­pa­nies such as Paystack and Flut­ter­wave re­ceived huge fund­ing from abroad to strengthen their mo­bile pay­ment so­lu­tions,” he said.

Uche Aniche, the con­vener of Star­tup­south, be­lieves that the Nige­rian ecosys­tem has un­der­gone a trans­for­ma­tion in re­cent years.

“Thanks to the wave of fresh young tal­ents. Lots of start- ups and small busi­nesses have taken off, cre­at­ing a surge of co-work­ing spa­ces and a col­lab­o­ra­tive spirit that is vi­tal for the suc­cess of in­no­va­tion hubs,” Aniche said.

He fur­ther said that in­vest­ments in Nige­rian com­pa­nies havd grown steadily over the past year, point­ing to a rel­a­tive im­prove­ment of the in­vest­ment in the ecosys­tem and a huge amount of money avail­able to in­vest in start-ups.

The COVID-19 pan­demic has in­fected over 30mil­lion peo­ple and claimed 952,033 lives glob­ally since the first out­break was recorded in Wuhan, China in Jan­uary 2020.

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