Enterprise is visiting Planet Startup — in Nigeria
Enterprise is heading to the other side of the continent for a little visit: A couple of hours after we hit “send” on this morning’s issue, one of us will be leaving on a jet plane to Lagos, Nigeria, with our friend Aly Shalakany, CEO of the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF) to explore one of Africa’s biggest startup hubs. We’ll be joined by Nawah Scientific CEO and founder Omar Shoukry (check out his morning routine here) and Adham Azzam, COO and co-founder of fintech player Lnddo.
Why are we heading to Nigeria? To meet interesting startups, angel investors and VCs in the capital of Africa’s largest consumer market (there are roughly two Nigerians for every one of us). Big thanks to Nigerian entrepreneur support organization TVC Labs, our guides to Nigeria, and in particular to collaborator-in-chief Tomi Davies (LinkedIn), who was kind enough to help plan the trip and set up the meetings with the country’s top entrepreneurs and professionals.
What makes Nigeria so interesting? Nigerian startups raised a total of USD 1.8 bn last year, topping all African countries (including Egypt, which came third with USD 652 mn), according to a report by investment platform Partech. Nigeria’s number is equivalent to 34% of all African equity funding for startups.
Snapshot of Nigeria: The official currency is the NGN. EGP 1 is almost NGN 23. The country of 206 mn people boasts a GDP of over USD 432 bn, according to the World Bank’s 2021 figures. We’re expected to be welcomed by hot, rainy weather (the kind that confuses someone with Egyptian-German roots — we’ve packed the whole closet) and are sure we’ll feel right at home, based on what we’ve read about the city’s traffic.
What we’re looking forward to: Meetings with Nigerian fintech and logistics startups, as well as local angel investors, VCs, and a pan-Africa fund. And we’re definitely excited to dive into the country’s bustle, tastes, smells, and sounds along the way, so stay tuned for daily updates the rest of this week. Then, in June, we’ll have a series of stories on what’s happening in Nigeria that local startups need to know about.