The agony of a Nigerian tech startup founder
I would want to first welcome you to Nigeria – if you’re not familiar with the ecosystem already – where creating a startup is not too hard, but nurturing it to profit making seem like a herculean task. No thanks to the impact of the economy on consumers and by extension, the startup.
Don’t get too carried away because I said creating a startup is not too hard, as there is still the financial aspect (capital) to begin with. As things stand now, it is one of the most difficult parts of creating a startup.
But how about running it, and bringing to profitability.
To be honest, it just seems like the whole system of Nigeria is not fit to house the number of start-ups that are created on a daily basis. The infrastructure is very bad that in the end, the startup looks like it isn’t benefiting anything worthwhile from its country of host.
On electricity, the erratic power supply we encounter in the country has sure limited the growth of most start-ups. As it is, many of them would be forced to turn their faces and begin with the use of alternative power supplies. The use of generators, maybe solar panels would increase the cost of production of whatever service the tech startup might be offering.
When we move our lens on data, it is yet another agony for the Nigerian startup entrepreneur. Many have said, of which I concur, that “data is q major backbone of any internet of some tech startups”. The thing is, you have to be online, not at anytime you can, but at EVERY TIME. It is a duty for your internet startup. But then, with the daily upward surge of the price of data in Nigeria, I can only imagine the frustration most of these founders are going through.
There are many other factors that could be frustrating to a tech entrepreneur. Just normal infrastructural deficiencies like the bad roads (in particular for the e-commerce sector) and all could serve as a limiting factor for profits.
However, it would only be fair that we acknowledge and appreciate the ones that have made it this far, through the thick and thin of the Nigerian non-encouraging system, while also encouraging the ones that have fallen by the way.
Kudos to start-ups like Hotels.ng, Printivo, ToLet.com.ng, Angela, VoguePay, SimplePay and the totality of others that are probably too much to mention. It is very delightful to see that in spite of the many odds, there are still successful ones that have secured investments.
Now let’s talk about the agony of finding an investor. “Techpreneurs” must have hated the fact that Nigeria is somewhat new to Angel investments, which has not too encouraged how well start-ups see funds to be able to expand. Well, it is also certain that we’ll grow into it.
For now, I’d just leave a few words for startup founders in Nigeria. The system might not be too encouraging, but trust me, some people made it, and now, its left for you to replicate that. What are your thoughts so far?