Before 2014, a lot of tech startups in Nigeria were not actually tech startups. Most were just guy (or a girl) and an app that barely had traction. But because there was nothing else, those startups got reported as startups.
That changed in 2014.
The guy and the app stopped being featured in the tech media, stopped being celebrated on stages, and the tech scene moved from being focused on which school hacker team won the competition to new companies that are actually employing people.
This trend is good, but in some way also a bit sad — while before the startups that were featured were usually founded by a small local tech team, nowadays the startups you see are founded by Nigerians who have lived abroad, are usually older than 30 and have critical experience at big companies.
So the young, Nigerian-educated founder was largely ignored in 2014.
These new startups have fundamentally changed the Nigerian tech scene.
It’s now no longer about winning a $10,000 cheque from a telco competition, it’s now about the volume of sales you are making, how big the team is, and how much money has been raised.
And that’s just the start — most of these startups are showing remarkable growth and are expanding rapidly in 2015. Teams are expanding, sales are growing, and many of the founders are talking of aggressive expansion already.
2014 in many ways was a defining moment in the Nigerian tech scene. It is the year that likely will be seen as the turning point in the Nigerian tech scene, and with the usual speed that Nigerians operate at, I think we can expect to see the ripple effects across Africa very soon.
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