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I don’t know maybe you have used any loan apps in Nigeria, but I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a whole lot of “Advertisement” about different loan apps on Facebook, YouTube and even on your Android phones.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many of them?

Today, you’ll see “K-cash”, later you’ll see “L-Money” and some others. It seems there’s no tight competition in the newly loan shark industry in Nigeria, as we keep seeing new platform every now and then.

But the question we need to find answer to is;

Why are there so many Loan apps in Nigeria?

The answer is simply because Nigeria is a very poor country. The poverty rate is so high to the extend that Nigeria is crowned the “poverty capital” of the world according to CNN, Quartz and some big news platforms in the world.

BorgenMagazine reported that, about 50% of Nigerians are living in “severe” poverty.

According to WorldBank, the national poverty of Nigeria was 40.1% in 2019 and we should be expecting it to jump to 45.2% in 2022. Meaning that about 100.9 million Nigerians will be in extreme poverty then.

All these reports are true!

But what’s the correlation between the poverty rate and fake Loan apps (sharks) in Nigeria?

These loan apps promised to help “poor” people with loan. So, some people who’re in need of urgent assistance will have no choice than to take the loan.

And again, over 50% of Nigerians (over 100 million people) who are in extreme poverty are in urgent need of assistance.

Because of that, millions of Nigerians who uses smartphone or internet-enabled devices are downloading instant loan apps which has a big cybercriminal known as loan sharks as facilitator.

To be honest, giving or taking loan is not bad.

But if we take a look at these numerous loan apps floating around, you’ll notice that something is suspicious and only the smart people can discern it.

Let me tell you what the Loan sharks does, then you’ll compare with these arrant loan apps in Nigeria;

How Loan Sharks Business Works

A loan shark is a person or company that lend people large sum of money at very “high” interest rate in a very short time and asks those “borrowers” to pay even before the stipulated time using violence or threat.

These Loan sharks don’t always force people to obtain loan, but their trap is always ready to catch people who need money “urgently”.

Let’s say you need about $5,000 to pay for something urgently, maybe like hospital bill, school fees, house rent or whatever. A loan shark can lend you that $5,000 and ask you to pay $10,000 within 30 days.

That’s 50% interest rate, It’s too high. But because you need money urgently, you have no choice than to take it and start living your life in fear till you pay that loan!

They can call you anytime and ask you to pay. If you don’t have money to pay, you may be threatened to be sent to prison or they may use any kind of violence. And because you don’t want trouble, you will have to start running helter-skelter in other to pay the money back.

Note that;

  • They give loan urgently
  • They have high interest rate
  • They use a kind of threat or violence to take the money back

A loan shark will tell you that they don’t need anything from you than to give them your account number, address and phone number.

How to Detect a Loan Shark or Fake Loan Apps

  • A loan shark doesn’t care if you have a job or not. They don’t care about the source of your earning
  • A loan shark business doesn’t have a physical address
  • A loan shark will pressurize you to “quickly” take the loan without any consideration’
  • Most time, the interest rates are undisclosed until the loan has been dispersed to you successfully
  • They don’t respect you. Of course, they know you are poor and have nothing to offer or do, so you’re treated like dirt

How Loan Sharks Operate in Nigeria

Most of these loan sharks in Nigeria are organized crime unit. They hide under the pretense of helping people with loan at the “most convenient” time and hour with their Loan apps.

To get loan from some of these loan sharks posing as “helpful” loan apps in Nigeria, you don’t have to visit any office, all you have to do is click few buttons, enter your account number and boom, you’re in trouble!

In Nigeria, they try to make you believe they’re operating a legal service, so these loan sharks will ask for your BVN (where they can get your personal details).

Legally, you need to go through some stages and fill forms before you can be given a loan.

Let talk about few of these loan sharks to avoid;

Loan Sharks: Fake Loan Apps to Avoid in Nigeria

  1. LCredit
  2. 9Credit
  3. 9jaCash
  4. XCredit
  5. AjeLoan
  6. Kash Kash
  7. SokoLoan
  8. ICoin
  9. HalooCredit
  10. Appannie
  11. PayLater
  12. GoCash

And many more. IF you have an experience with any one of these listed loan apps or another one that’s not listed here, kindly use the comment box below to share the story with us – help someone!

You should note that these fake loan apps in Nigeria have something in common, and that’s exactly what loan shark business is all about.

The annoying thing Loan sharks in Nigeria do

  • Let’s say Mama Ngozi want to take a loan of N100,000 from “257-CashMoney”, a loan app in Nigeria, they’ll not ask Mama Ngozi to give them her property address or use something tangible and inanimate as collateral.

But they (these fake loan apps) will instead ask Mama Ngozi to give access to her contact list which sounds too easy and nearly meaningless to her. So, she’ll grant access without thinking twice.

After gaining permission to Mama Ngozi’s contact list, these loan apps will copy the phone numbers found and save for future.

Are you thinking what they’ll use the phone numbers for?

Well, those people with the phone number copied from Mama Ngozi’s contact list are also in trouble if Mama Ngozi failed to pay the loan she took on time.

Personally, I’ve received threatening messages and calls because someone who borrowed money from them have my number on their phone.

Maybe you have received such message before.

  • Another thing is that, since these fake loan apps have access to your debit card, they can continue to remove money from your account as long as they wish.

And if there’s no money in your account, you will be threatened with police.

And remember, police in Nigeria don’t care.

There’s no way you can avoid seeing their ads, they spend lot of money on advertisements in order to ruin the poor masses. But let’s talk about different ways you can avoid their traps;

How to Avoid Loan Sharks or Fake Loan Apps in Nigeria

  • Never use any loan apps or online platform to borrow money again!
  • Learn how to save money, so you’ll not need to seek for “urgent” loan
  • If you need to take loan, go to Microfinance banks or visit your bank
  • Ask your friends or family members for help
  • If loan apps are your only option, read more online about the loan app you want to use (check some here)
  • Whenever you have money, help those around you. So that people will help you too when you need help.
  • Another best approach is to ask for recommendation
  • Don’t be too desperate to take the loan, even if it’s urgent
  • If you take loan, pay on time.

RECOMMENDED: Check Top Banks that Gives Loan in Nigeria

What if you notice you’ve fall for any fake loan apps or shark, what should you do?

What to do if You’ve fall for Fake Loan Apps

  1. Make sure you move all your money to another account as soon as you notice it
  2. If you’re too late to move your money before they start extorting you, quickly report to the crime unit of your bank with the screenshot of the debit alert
  3. Deactivate your ATM card
  4. Report the incident in a police station, give them full details of what happened
  5. Give the fake loan app negative review on Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore and raise the alert on social media
  6. Make sure you tell your friends and family members to disregard any threat from any loan agent
  7. If possible, change your SIM card for a while

CONCLUSION: Be Shrewd, Avoid Loan Sharks or Fake Loan Apps!

Like I said earlier, over 100 million Nigerians are in “severe” poverty. And these people need “urgent” help which triggered millions of people to download instant loan apps in Nigeria.

I’m not saying all Loan apps in Nigeria are fake, but most of them are!

If you put 10 loans apps in Nigeria together, you’ll discover that just 1 or 2 of them are legit.

Remember the tactics used by these fake loan apps, they will approach you with smile. But once you fall into their trap, you’re in trouble. Not only you, but also those on your contact address.

If you need loan, you should look for a microfinance bank.

By the way, do you know that most digital banks in Nigeria like KUDA Bank, VFD Bank etc., offers loan at a very low interest rate?

A good example is KUDA Bank, you can get access to overdraft (loan) and pay 0.3% every day until you pay back.

In my own case, I can get a loan worth N30,000 right now and pay N90 as interest every day.

If I will pay in the next 30 days, that’s just N2,700 interest on N30,000 per month!

You just need to be smart and avoid being desperate on “urgent” loan.

If you have had any experience with any of these loan apps, kindly use the comment box below to share with us. And don’t forget that this blog post might be a life-saver for others, kindly share with them also.

I am a front-end developer, part-time blogger, incoming data scientist, an enthusiastic cynophilist, and a curious introvert. I'm available for side gigs and partnerships. Contact me here: on WhatsApp or check me on Linkedin

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Microsoft Announces GitHub for Startups (It’s for the big guys)

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Like co-pilot, GitHub for Startups is what startup founders need to build, collaborate and ship their product from idea to IPO. Let’s talk about the requirements and how you can apply.

Ever since Microsoft acquires Github, we’ve been seeing some features such as the GitHub co-pilot, the ReadMe project, and many other improvements. The company recently announced a new feature or let me say a new plan and they called it “GitHub for Startups”

In case you don’t know what is GitHub, It is the world’s largest Internet hosting service for software development and version control using Git. Developers in Nigeria can easily work with developers in the United States, India, Canada, and any part of the world.

The company which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 makes it easy for software developers to collaborate faster and more effectively. Currently, over 80 million developers across the world use GitHub.

Companies like Slack, Coinbase, Spotify, Stripe, and some unicorn startups in the world make use of GitHub for collaboration and most importantly, the enterprise plan because of features like security.

What is GitHub for Startups?

GitHub for Startups is simply GitHub’s enterprise plan for startups.

To understand this, GitHub is free for developers to use, but if you want to get more from using GitHub, you can subscribe to any of its premium plans. Currently, there are 3 pricing plans on GitHub, their pricing is as follows;

  • Free – $0
  • Team – $48/yr for each user
  • Enterprise – $252/yr for each user

If you have 10 developers working in your startup, and you are using GitHub’s enterprise plan, you will be paying $2,520 per year. It increases as the number of developers in your startup increases.

But if you have a startup with a number of developers up to 20 but not more than that, this enterprise plan will be free for you courtesy of GitHub for Startups. It seems like good stuff, right? But don’t answer yet until you know the requirements.

GitHub partners with investors for GitHub for Startups

GitHub is a code-sharing and hosting platform, and now they are dealing with startups. So they partner with top investors, incubators, accelerators, and VCs to make this program more effective. Currently, the partners include;

  • Y Combinator
  • TechStars
  • LightSpeed
  • Sequoia
  • Andreessen Horowitz

RELATED: Y Combinator Startup Application Guide

These are five of the biggest startup accelerators in the world right now. GitHub is still accepting applications from those investors or startups who wish to be part of this.

If you have a tech hub, you run a startup ecosystem program, you are an incubator/accelerator, or you are a venture capitalist, click on apply to become a partner on this page.

Back to startup founders or representatives, the question you may have in mind right now is;

What are the Benefits of GitHub for Startups?

If your startup is eligible, you will enjoy all features contained in GitHub’s top premium (Enterprise) plan for up to 20 seats. Not only that, but because it’s for startups, you will also enjoy;

  • Access to the best DevOps platform to build your startup with all the technical or developers’ tools you need.
  • Also, product guidance for your startup is important to take your startup to the next level because writing code is not always enough.

The question you are asking yourself right now is; “Will my startup be eligible for this GitHub for Startups offer?” Well, I’m partially disappointed because most “startups” who are just starting out and can’t afford this will need to continue using their free organization feature on GitHub because of the requirements…

Requirements for GitHub for Startups

There are just two requirements;

  • Early-stage but funded startups

The term “early-stage” doesn’t mean “any startup that’s just growing”. If you are just building and you haven’t raised any funds, just forget about GitHub for Startups.

If you are smart enough to say you’ve been funded when you are not, you are just shooting yourself because GitHub has partnered with venture capitalists, investors, and accelerators. It’s very easy for GitHub to verify each application.

  • You haven’t received GitHub’s Enterprise credit

If by chance your organization has received GitHub enterprise credit before, then this offer is not for you because you’ve enjoyed the offers contained in the GitHub for Startups even before it is publicly released.

If you have been funded up to Series A (not pre-seed o), you can apply for this offer. Here is how to;

How to apply for GitHub for Startups

  • Click on “Apply now” on this page to get started. A modal will appear, where you are to:
  • Fill in your startup details and then,
  • Fill in your billing details, that’s where they will deduct the subscription fee when the first year free plan expires. Then finally,
  • Accept GitHub’s terms and Click the sign-up button.

That’s all, then wait for a response. If you have any questions, there is an email address you can contact on the page.

RECOMMENDED: How to find the perfect co-founder for your startup

A personal opinion on this GitHub for Startups

GitHub for Startups is for the big guys for startups who are really in the idea stage, this is what GitHub thinks is fair for them. 

It’s like a marketing strategy, if they allow every nook and cranny of startups, it won’t be a good business because, at the end of the first year, many of these startups won’t be able to continue using the plan because they can’t afford it.

Even though the startups they are accepting can afford to spend $20,000 to subscribe for the next 5 years, GitHub still feels it’s better to onboard them first by allowing them to taste the good vibes that come with the enterprise plan because some funded startups use the free plan up till date. 

If they see how amazing the enterprise plan is, they won’t be doubting maybe to start paying for it or not.

It’s just like when GitHub co-pilot was released, the AI is so amazing that it can help you write your code with just little editing from you. After a year of its free trial, GitHub started charging for it and I believe some developers will pay because they’ve seen how helpful it is.

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Complete Guide to Finding the Right Co-Founder for Your Startup

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Building a successful startup requires a lot of steps but a major one is finding the right co-founder or co-founders. Compared to marketing, financing and other particular factors in creating a successful business, finding the right co-founder is quite a herculean task.

If you are not lucky to find the right co-founder, then your startup is dead already unless you get the perfect one as soon as possible.

Some people are so selfish that they don’t want anybody to join hands with them as executives in building a business, they want to have 100% ownership of the startup. If you have this kind of mentality, you should rethink or start a small business and take full control of it.

But if you are thinking of building the next unicorn, then you need people to work with you.

In this blog post, you will learn how to can find the right co-founder that will help you build that idea in your head. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of finding the perfect co-founder, let’s answer these 3 important questions:

  • Who is a co-founder?
  • Why do I need a co-founder?
  • What are the qualities of the right co-founder?

Who is a Co-Founder?

According to Indeed.com, a co-founder is a member of the executive team who played a role in the founding of a company. This person typically works with other founders to create and launch a business.

You know that a founder is someone with the idea of a business. But due to the fact that no one is an island of knowledge, oftentimes a founder may not have enough funds to finance the idea, or the human resources required to bring the idea to reality. That’s when the idea of having a co-founder comes in.

A co-founder works hand-in-hand with the founder to establish the business and make it successful. 

This means that it is possible for a company to have both a founder and co-founder(s) if the business idea came from one person and the other just came later to implement it. In another light, if two or more people put their heads together to formulate the business idea, then they are all co-founders. 

A co-founder Vs a CEO

A co-founder may or may not be the CEO. A CEO is the Chief Executive Officer, which means that a CEO is the acting leader of the organization. Most times a founder/co-founder is also the CEO but sometimes a more experienced CEO is hired. Also, a hired CEO does not necessarily take the title of the co-founder since they may not actually take part in building the platform. 

The job of a CEO is to coordinate and lead the team, create goals and targets, communicate with other entities, and shareholders, access risks, and so on. So basically the roles of a co-founder and CEO matter but one person can still hold the same title.

Why Do I Need a Co-Founder?

In founding a startup, you can decide to do it solo but it is much better to have a helping hand. The following are a few reasons why you may need to consider having a co-founder:

  • Being a solo founder is stressful

Starting a business is not an easy task. You will experience a reasonable amount of pressure In trying to put everything in place. The process; ranging from writing code, down to marketing, is not going to be a piece of cake. Sure you might have other employees to share the workload with you but there is a limit to where employees can help you that’s why you need a partner. 

  • Brainstorming 

Two heads are better than one.” There will come a time when you might get stuck and need someone to help you up. Note that there is a difference between an advisor and a partner. You might get external advice, fine but you can’t expect someone that is not in it with you to actually know exactly what you need.

  • Emotional support 

In starting up a business you’re in some kind of emotional roller-coaster due to the ups and downs. In this situation, you need someone to share the burden.

In this situation, a close friend or family member will not give you the kind of support you need at that time and to your employees, well you’re their boss and there’s a limit. So, you need a partner.

  • Think about finances and VCs

Building a startup can be pretty expensive and chances of raising funds or getting donations when you don’t have your product or the prototype ready yet are pretty low. The opportunity of working with a co-founder allows you to share the early costs of the business. 

Recommended: YCombinator startup application guide

Besides, it’s very rare to find investors investing in a one-man business. If you’re concerned about your equity, think of this. Would you rather have 100% equity in a company worth $30,000 or 50% equity in a company worth $100,000?

  •  The record of successful companies 

Looking at a list of the most successful unicorns in the history of startups like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, to mention a few. They all had co-founders when they first started. Although, many people forget this point because as time goes on the company gets associated with one particular person, especially the CEO who usually becomes prominent and famous. 

For example when we think of Microsoft – Bill Gates, Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg. But, when we look into the earliest stages we would realize that they were co-founders. This should give a kind of insight into what pattern to follow as to choosing a co-founder or not.

What are the qualities of a good co-founder?

Now that you’re convinced you really need a co-founder, don’t stand jumping into the river without knowing how deep it is. I mean, you don’t select just anybody to be your co-founder.

Finding the right co-founder for your startup

Bill Gates and his co-founder, Paul Allen

There are some important criteria that the person you would want to consider as a co-founder must possess. Remember that you’re not aiming at a short-term relationship. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

  • The skill

One of the mistakes people make in choosing a co-founder is choosing someone with the same skills they have. You should be looking for someone who is skilled in the areas you are not very skilled in.

If you’re good at building the product and writing the codes then ideally you should have a co-founder who is good at marketing, talking to users, and getting customers. 

If you are going to have a team of co-founders you should be looking for varied skill sets not a group of duplicates. 

  • Similar core values and vision

Your co-founder should be of a like mindset. If your vision is to take your business to the global stage then your co-founder has to understand and believe in it. If you have a can-do attitude and an always-ready spirit you most likely wouldn’t want someone who believes in taking things slowly and one at a time. 

Although people have different ways of doing things that work differently for different people, you need a co-founder whose views go alongside yours or are at least very similar.

  • Realistic

Your co-founder should be someone who understands how businesses work. Not someone who thinks you will start making profits immediately after you start the business. An unrealistic co-founder will lose interest quite easily when their fantasies are not met.

  • Other qualities the right co-founder should include:

  • A co-founder should be trustworthy
  • S/he should be committed to the goal as you 
  • The co-founder should always be ready to adapt to new changes
  • Ability to handle conflict and stress
  • Such co-founders should be creative with ideas

Now to the bigger question, “How can I find the right co-founder?”. 

When looking for the right co-founder, the best place to start looking is among people you already know, your co-worker or your course-mate or close friends. That is of course if you can find someone with the skills you are looking for. 

And even if you can’t find a suitable person in your social circle, it’s okay. Just check the steps align below to know how you can get the right partner for you. 

5 Ways to Find the Right Co-founder for your Startup

  • Explore your social circle

If you don’t have someone who has the skills you are looking for in your social circle then why don’t you try expanding your circle? Who knows, someone you know might actually know someone, who probably knows someone with the skillset or experience you’re looking for. 

You could make a list of your tech friends then ask each one of them if they know someone with some particular set of skills and then make a list of those people they tell you. If you still can’t find someone suitable ask those new people you’ve been introduced to if they know someone. 

That way, if you only have ten people on your lists and each of them tells you about ten persons each, bingo you have one hundred people you can ask to be your co-founder. Gradually, you have a lot of choices of people to choose from. 

You can also use social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to check for the type of co-founder you need and reach out to them.

  • Attend & Network at tech events

Another cool and popular way of finding co-founders is by attending events, meetups, and hackathons. Go out and actually meet people. You can look up these events where you think you’ll find a lot of relevant people that can have what you need.

This tech event includes the famous Google developer events, Open source communities like OSCA Fest, the tech seminars going on around you or you can look up Meetup.com. They have a website where you can find meetups all over the world and you can find the one close or relevant to you.

The essence of having a meetup or tech event is to learn together and network, but most time, people go to these events to snap pictures and have fun, and maybe you have been one of those people too. Well, the next tech event you will be attending should be to find a potential co-founder for your startup.

I know it’s not easy to network with a stranger especially if you are an introvert like me, but then, if you can’t talk or strike up a conversation with a person, how are you going to tell people about what you are building or build and why they need to use it?

So you have to start practicing now, imagine yourself pitching your startup idea to an investor, swallow the shyness and get that right co-founder!

  • Use co-founder matching platforms

There are quite a number of matchmaking platforms for startups out there. These platforms have nobody than those with ideas but looking for a co-founder, or someone without an idea but would like to become a co-founder to someone with a startup idea.

Some co-founder matching platforms to consider

These platforms can be really helpful because they are majorly for finding co-founders so if you are looking for that perfect co-founder, then you should definitely check them out.

  • Online forums

Forums may not actually be created for finding co-founders, but you can make use of ones that have a lot of traffic. For example, Reddit, Quora, and Discord have groups dedicated to finding co-founders and they are loaded with people which means you definitely should check them out. 

Also, these forums are international and you tend to meet people from different geographical locations so if you are interested in finding a co-founder with a different background to probably expand your horizon or your business then you should definitely use these forums. 

  • Universities (or colleges)

Maybe you’ve probably read online that Bill Gates met his co-founder, Paul Allen in the late 1960s at Seattle’s Lakeside School when he was in eighth grade, Mark Zuckerberg met Eduardo Saverin at Harvard university and they both launched Facebook in 2004.

If we come to Nigeria, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi who founded Paystack met in school. The three founders of Jobberman.com, the largest job listing website in Africa met each other at Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU

Another very helpful way of finding a co-founder is going to a college or university. This is actually very helpful in finding the perfect set of skills you need. For example, you need someone with business and marketing skills; go to a business school, attend their entrepreneur events and get to know people with the exact skill you need.

A piece of advice on finding the right co-founder

  • Watch before you leap, and not “surface watching”

In finding a co-founder it is important to note that you probably shouldn’t walk up to someone and say let’s start a company together. It is more advisable that if your potential co-founder isn’t someone you’re not sure you can work with, start by building probably a simple project together. 

This way you get to see how devoted they are to work if you’re okay working with them and other basic stuff. It is also important not to rule out someone as a potential co-founder if they are only lacking simple learnable skills.

If you get someone who is ready to learn and open to improvement but lacks maybe that skill that can be learned easily, it is better to consider that person than someone who has all the skills but is not open to improvement or corrections.

  • Avoid future problems, agree on equity spilt immediately

Another important thing to do is the agree beforehand on the equity split. You both should agree on how the profit is going to be shared. Most times it’s 50:50 but you and your co-founder may have other plans.

Although sometimes you may have been working on the business idea before your co-founder comes on board but it’s still okay to make it 50:50 or something very close to that. But then, you guys must agree on it, either it should be 50/50 or 60/40 but a co-founder must have over 10% equity.

  • Agree on the titles

You should agree on who’s going to be the CEO of the company. The CEO title should be given to the person who would most likely be talking to customers and investors.

If you would like to be the CEO, then you absolutely shouldn’t co-found with someone who also wants to be the boss to definitely avoid future conflicts… Two captains can’t sail a ship unless you want to subscribe for an accident.

But wait…

You might also be thinking, “if I have a nice business idea, should I wait till I find a co-founder or should I just really go for it?” The answer is yes. If you have the idea and you’re really confident about it then go ahead. You should start building and also be on the lookout for a co-founder while in the process.

Sometimes you might not even get anyone to be a co-founder if they don’t believe in your idea but the fact that you’re already building and they can actually see your plan in action is a good way of attracting the perfect co-founder.

Conclusion: Finding the right co-founder

Once you find the right person and you have both agreed on the important things that have been mentioned above, It is also important to legalize things. You definitely won’t do that at the start of your company but when things start becoming big, then you should definitely have a legal agreement.

With the helpful suggestions above,  you have everything you need to know about finding the right co-founder, and good luck in building the next unicorn, we can’t wait to see what solution you’re bridging to the world.

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OAU Alumni: 10 Successful Startup Founders Who Graduated from OAU

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Nigerian startup founders are repping the country globally. Let’s talk about 10 OAU Alumni repping the citadel of knowledge among these brilliant problem solvers.

We have tens of startups founded by Nigerians and most of them are pretty doing well. But lately, attention has been drawn to how OAU and Covenant University produced the highest number of “millionaire” West African startup founders in the last ten years according to a report by Techpoint Africa.

According to the report, OAU peaked at the top spot producing 12 Startup founders followed by Covenant university which produced 6 founders.

But this blog post is not about the report by Techpoint Africa, because that report is based on startups that have raised $1m. This blog post is about successful startup founders who graduated from OAU whether the startup raised up to $1m or not.

About Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is one of the biggest, oldest, and most respected universities in Africa. Founded in 1962, the school is recognized globally, currently ranked #44 in Best Global Universities in Africa, and #1187 in the Best Global Universities.

If you see OAU students past or present shouting “Great Ife”, just know that they are not exaggerating, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is indeed a great citadel of knowledge. 

OAU Alumni: Startup Founders from OAU

Do you want to talk about the beautiful campus, the reputation, or how the school has produced a lot of well-to-do people in the country in almost every sector?

Maybe that’s one of the reasons thousands of students want to gain admission to the school every year even when they know they have higher chances in other schools, but they’ll still choose to compete for OAU admission.

We have a lot of successful people who have attended or graduated from this school, you can see some of them in the entertainment industry such as Fireboy, ASAKE, and Blaqbonez among others. Femi Otedola, one of the wealthiest African men, is also a product of Obafemi Awolowo University.

If you’re talking about big men in politics: Dele Momodu, Olusegun Mimiko, Lai Mohammed, Olusegun Oni, Dapo Abiodun, and Rotimi Akeredolu are proud alumni of OAU.

But let’s talk about people in tech, we have tons of successful OAU alumni who are today working in the area of technology in the country or abroad.

But today, I will be showing you 10 successful startup founders who graduated from or have attended Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU.

Kindly note that this order of arrangement is random and not to be made exclusive as to how important or successful they are. Also, some of them graduated while others choose to drop out, but the fact that they attended OAU is worth mentioning.

PSS: Some of them are co-founders, that is they join hands with someone or some people to build the startup.

With that in mind, here are the (known) startup founders who graduated from OAU.

10 Nigerian Startup Founders who Graduated from OAU

Tosin Eniolorunda studied Mechanical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University. He founded TeamApt in 2015 to “digitalize Africa’s economy”. So far, the startup, TeamApt is used by over 400,000 businesses and has processed over $100bn in transactions via its products; Moniepoint and Monnify.

Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with over 480 employees, the startup has raised over $50M, which is a great milestone in the history of startups in Africa, and for someone to come up with an idea that investors and customers can buy into, that means the person is a genius at what he/she does.

Nomba which is formerly known as Kudi is one of the most successful startups in Nigeria that deals with financial technologies. Co-founded by Yinka Adewale who studied Mechanical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, the startup has over 170 employees and has raised $5M to increase its business reach.

If you go to Google right now to search for property in Nigeria, PropertyPro will be one of the first 10 results, thanks to how fast the real estate marketplace has grown over the years.

The startup led by Fikayo Ogundipe who studied Electrical Electronic engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University has raised over $1.4m to help people in Nigeria and other African countries find a better place to live from their smartphones.

Opeawo, as he is famously known, is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Nigeria’s top job marketplace, Jobberman (which has been acquired), and also a cloud hosting startup, Whogohost which is currently the best web hosting company in Nigeria.

Opeyemi Awoyemi, a software engineer studied computer science and engineering at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University.

One of the most famous tech celebrities in Nigeria, Sultan Akintunde is popularly known as HackSultan and he is known for his charity to people who are in tech, want to get into tech, and people who are not even in tech.

He cofounded TalentQL, a talent marketplace, and AltSchoolAfrica, an ed-tech startup that recently raised $1m to support its mission.

HackSultan is also the founder of DevCareer, an NGO startup that helps people in tech.

Sultan Akintunde studied Geography at OAU but later went to Oduduwa University, a school very close to OAU to study computer science.

The oldest and the only OAU alumnae on the list, Funke Opeke studied Electrical engineering at OAU, she founded MainOne, a provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for west African businesses.

The startup which has been acquired by Equinix for $320M according to TechCrunch was founded in 2010 by Opeke as a result of bad internet connectivity in Nigeria and she came up with an idea that turns out to be West Africa’s first privately owned, open access undersea high-capacity cable.

SlimTrader is a technology enabler for African Businesses. Its hosted technology platform supports businesses in the travel and hospitality sector. The startup co-founded by Femi Akinde who studied Electrical Electronic Engineering received $1M from Nigeria’s fintech king, Interswitch.

Cowrywise, a big competitor to Piggyvest was founded by Razaq Ahmed who studied Economics at OAU. The startup helps you save and invest your money wisely instead of leaving it for inflation in the bank.

Cowrywise raised over $3M to make this vision becomes a clear reality and the growth ever since then has been nothing but amazing.

Bumpa is just an all-in-solution for small business owners. The startup allows you to create an online store, manage your inventory and receive payment right on your phone.

Recently, the startup achieve a milestone by partnering with Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) to make selling faster!

Bumpa is founded by Kelvin Umechukwu who studied mechanical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University.

Okay. Hands up for the godfather of techies. Seun Osewa is one of the most influential people in Nigeria, his platform Nairaland is one of the top 10 most visited websites in Nigeria with over 1.9m registered members and over 7m topics created.

It will be difficult to see a Nigerian tech savvy who doesn’t know a platform called Nairaland, it’s just like StackOverflow for developers.

Finally words… 10 OAU Alumni among Nigerian startup founders

All these startups listed above are worth over a million dollars and you will agree with me that the brain behind them should be acknowledged right? One thing to notice here is that it is not compulsory you study computer science before you can be innovative or co-build a startup, you can study anything and still be a tech founder.

A LESSON: If you are currently a student either in OAU or any school, don’t just live your school life for the “degree”, try to learn a skill, network with your friends, and build something together, even if you’ll have to take it as a side project, don’t just be after the degree only.

If you know any startup founded by OAU alumni or students, kindly use the comment box below to share with us.

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