The Business of Start-up In Nigeria Is Brutal

Editor’s Note: Olumide Olusanya, Dr (@docolumide) is the Founder, CEO & Service Architect at Gloo.ng (@gloo_ng)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat!” —Theodore Roosevelt.

Why would I be writing my very first blog post ever with such a long quote? It is because I have searched for over ten years—and will continue to search—but have not still found any other that best encapsulates the totality of what doing startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria, entails. To cut any portion of the quote out will take from it. Adding a single exclamation mark more will cause equal damage.

My purpose in choosing to begin to document some of my thoughts on this subject, similar to how others before me have started doing, is just so we can have a loudness of voices of DOERS in the technology ecosystem in Africa, and especially in Nigeria, to drown out the voices of the wingless fowls who have no farthing idea or clue as to what it REALLY means to do startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria.

I am not going to be talking about how to do startups following a Harvard MBA degree, as quite a number of the privileged “big guys” in this clime have. You begin to wonder if securing a foreign MBA that costs US$100,000+ and 18 months+ is the key qualification for doing something big in the tech space in Nigeria. US$100,000+ after discounting the costs of plane tickets, that is. (Why, by the way, would you go suffer, hunger, save and spend that much for such an education if you are already sold on the idea that tech business startup is WHAT you wanna do? Or is US$100,000+ not enough as starting point for a HUGE tech business?) Anyway, I would be flatly disqualified on that basis.

Neither am I going to be talking about doing startups with potentials for single digit million US$ exits. There is nothing exciting about that at all! No one deserves to face as much brutality and pain just for a single digit million US$ exit. Trust me—it is not worth the pain! (I dare say double digit million US$ exits too ain’t worth it as well.)

Furthermore, I will not be addressing this from the perspective of the professional critic whose only insight into doing startups in Africa is from what he gleans from binging on TechCrunch, PandoDaily, GigaOm and the like—most of which have no relevance WHATSOEVER to the very mortal nature of the combat of doing startups here in Africa. (You cannot even begin to guess how different and so far apart those startup terrains are from what obtains here in Africa, and especially Nigeria.)

And it will not be from the angle of the Conference Junkie—or Conference Hoe, if you prefer—the wannaprenuer, the guy whose face you ALWAYS see at all those shitty conferences that have no semblance of having anything to do with technology business or startups on this side of the world.

Finally, I will not be doing this from the vista of the dude who is usually the one you see on that stage at every Demo Day that is happening in town. Yes, you know yourself.

So whose perspective will it be from? Stay tuned…for my next blog post in the new year 2014—the year of THE Gloo!

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of OTEKBITS.

A Christmas Opportunity For Tech Entrepreneurs – 88mph

While average people are using the holidays to enjoy family and down time, entrepreneurs just cant seem to sit still.

If you would like something to do, and you’ve got an exciting, scalable mobile or web idea, 88mph would love to hear from you. Applications for the Cape Town 2014 program are still open for the next 7 days.

Apply here for funding with your startup idea.

Merry Christmas.

Gloo Joins Jumia and Konga In Moving Into Bigger Fulfillment Center

Gloo.ng (Formerly BuyCommonthings.com), one of Nigeria’s biggest online supermarket has announced their relocation to the new bigger space of 20,000sqft (Square Feet) from 5,000sqft which would enable them to ser their growing customers better.

The message was passed by Gloo.ng CEO, Olumide Olusanya on Sunday evening to their customer.

 Dear Valued Gloo.ng Customer,

It is with deep gratitude to God and His loving kindness that i write to inform you that your favourite online supermarket, Gloo.ng, will be relocating in 2 weeks time to a newly secured 20,000sqft Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) from our present 5,000sqft CFC. The relocation is planned for the weekend of 3rd to 5th January 2014.

This movement has been necessitated by the growth we have experienced, and which we continue to experience, by virtue of your kind and loyal patronage of our service, as well as to further guaranty improvement in the service you have thus enjoyed till date. However, as we are still a young and growing team in the ecommerce space in Nigeria, all the hands we have available will be on deck that weekend to ensure a smooth relocation. Consequently, all your orders received during that weekend, from 12:01pm on Thursday 2nd January shall be delivered on Monday, 6th January 2014, processed from the new CFC. Furthermore, we will also be having a delivery-free day on the 1st of January 2014, being the first day of the new year 2014. More updates will be sent to you on developments related to the relocation.

Finally, i would like to use this opportunity to thank you for the trust you have reposed in us. This has indeed been a tough journey, from the point this idea occurred to me while watching my extremely loving and dutiful wife–and mother of my son–combine keeping a happy home with holding down a full-time executive role. Gloo.ng has been an outpouring of affection to my wife to try to relieve her of the stress of this balancing act. I eventually asked her about a month after to resign from that executive role to join me in building Nigeria’s biggest supermarket as my co-founder. And she has not looked back since then–a daughter of consolation, a rock of support, and a treasure trove of advice. There would not have been a Gloo.ng as you now know it without this woman–either in idea or even in execution. She is as much a celebration of Gloo.ng as you all our treasured customers are. I therefore use this occasion of our relocation to celebrate her–and to celebrate you. And to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

God bless you. God bless Gloo.ng, Nigeria’s Biggest Online Supermarket.

Yours faithfully,
Olumide Olusanya, Dr.
CEO, Gloo.ng

*end*

Gloo joins the likes of Jumia and Konga in moving into new warehouse facilities, perhaps and indicator that the e-commerce space is indeed experiencing growth and has a profitable future ahead.

monopoly

Most Popular and Expensive Properties in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria Property Centre, a popular go-to website to find properties in Nigeria, today released popular places to rent a 3-bedroom apartment within Lagos state, Nigeria based on the extensive data and information found and listed on their website.

Lekki was revealed to be the most popular place for renting 3-bedroom apartments due to the large volume of properties listed in this local government area with Magodo and Ikeja coming in second and third place respectively. Kosofe and Isheri North were revealed to both having the lowest number of properties listed in 2013.

The most expensive 3 bedroom apartment listed in 2013 was found in Ikoyi going for N45 million naira (forty five million naira only), a slight drop from 2012 when a N55 million naira (fifty five million naira only) apartment was listed. Badergy had the cheapest 3-bedroom property that went for N180, 000 (one hundred and eighty thousand naira only) this year, which is also consistent with the property value in the same region for last year.

The 10 most expensive 3-bed apartments listed for rent in recent months are:

Ikoyi   – N6,750,000

Yaba   – N3,000,000

Magodo  - N18,000,000

Victoria Island (VI) – N4,000,000

Lekki  - N11,200,000

Ikeja   – N8,000,000

Ojodu     – N7,000,000

Maryland  -  N6,500,000

Isolo   –  N5,000,000

Gbagada   –  N3,500,000

You can check out the infographic containing more information about this data here.

About Nigeria Property Centre

NigeriaPropertyCentre.com is a real estate and property website in Nigeria with property listings for sale, rent and lease; offering Nigerian property seekers an easy way to find details of property in Nigeria like homes, houses, lands, shops, office spaces and other commercial properties to buy or rent. More at nigeriapropertycentre.com

Hugo Obi, Jobberman Trio Emerge Winners At The Future Awards 2013

The names of the 15 winners of this year’s ‘The Future Awards Africa’ 2013 were formally announced last night, at an annual awards ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and it was great to see winners emerge from the Tech Space including: Hugo Obi of Maliyo Games, and the Jobberman Trio - Ayodeji Adewunnmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude.

Chude Jideonwo, executive director of The Future Project and co-founder of The Future Awards Africa, commented, “I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s The Future Awards Africa. This year has been the most difficult year to judge to date, with so many compelling and inspiring stories of young Africans, all of who deserve to be recognised and rewarded. The winners of this year’s Awards will go on to inspire a new generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs acrossAfrica and we’re looking forward to seeing the winners go on to touch thousands of lives across our great continent, leaving behind a legacy that will be recognised for years to come.”

The Future Awards Africa, described by the World Bank as ‘The Nobel Prize for young Africans’, recognise and reward the success and achievements of young people aged between 18 and 31 living in Africa. They have been awarded in 15 separate categories, including: advocacy and activism, business, agriculture, education and fashion.

In just eight years, the Awards have produced over 120 winners and 1,200 nominees in Nigeria. This year the awards became pan-African for the first time with 85 young Africans from countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda,Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Liberia all nominated to receive awards. The Awards were presented in partnership with Microsoft, the British Council, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Access Bank.

The winners of this year’s Awards are:

  • THE FUTURE AWARDS YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR: Ashish J. Thakkar, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM:Orode Uduaghan-Okpu, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN COMMUNITY ACTION: Ife Adebayo, age 30
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN NEW MEDIA: Kingsley Ezeani, age 23
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN JOURNALISM: Toyosi Ogunsey, age 29 years
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN BUSINESS: Saeed Jumah, age 28
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICE:Kayode Temenu, age 29
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN AGRICULTURE: Precious Peter Nweke, age 31
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN FASHION & STYLE: Aisha Bello, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ARTS & CULTURE: Kenneth Gyang age 27
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ENTERPRISE SUPPORT: Ayodeji Adewunnmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude, ages 29, 25 and 29
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN EDUCATION: Ottoh Oroondam, age 26
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE YOUNG MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Uche Pedro, age 32
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hugo Obi 32
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE IN ENTERTAINMENT AND TALENT: O.C Ukeje age 32

Profiles of the winners and nominees are provided on thefutureafrica.com/awards.

SONY DSC

BlackBerry Announces Loss And Partnership With Foxconn

BlackBerry Limited today reported financial results for the three months ended November 30, 2013 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated). It also announced it 5 year partnership with Foxconn.

Q3 Results

Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was approximately $1.2 billion, down $380 million or 24% from approximately $1.6 billion in the previous quarter and down 56% from $2.7 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2013. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 40% for hardware, 53% for services and 7% for software and other revenue. During the third quarter, the Company recognized hardware revenue on approximately 1.9 million BlackBerry smartphones compared to approximately 3.7 million BlackBerry smartphones in the previous quarter.

Most of the units recognized were BlackBerry 7 devices. During the quarter, approximately 4.3 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers, which included shipments made and recognized prior to the third quarter and which reduced the Company’s inventory in channel. Of the BlackBerry smartphones sold through to end customers in the third quarter, approximately 3.2 million were BlackBerry 7 devices.

The total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was $3.2 billion as of November 30, 2013, compared to $2.6 billion at the end of the previous quarter. Cash flow used in operations in the third quarter was approximately $77 million. Cash flows provided by financing activities in the third quarter were approximately $991 million, including the proceeds from the issuance of debt. Uses of cash included intangible asset additions of approximately $234 million and capital expenditures of approximately $46 million. Purchase obligations and commitments amounted to approximately $2.1 billion as at November 30, 2013, with purchase orders with contract manufacturers representing approximately $664 million of the total.

BlackBerry Announces Five-Year Strategic Partnership with Foxconn

The Company announced today that it has entered into a five-year strategic partnership with Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic products and components. Under this new relationship, Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture certain new BlackBerry devices and manage the inventory associated with those devices. The initial focus of the partnership will be a smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets targeting early 2014.

BlackBerry will own all of its intellectual property and perform product assurance on devices through the Foxconn partnership, as it does currently with all third-party manufacturers.

BlackBerry will focus heavily, via internal development, on market segments where its continuous innovations in secure hardware, software and services remain critical and integral to enterprise and government customers. BlackBerry also intends to drive adoption of its multi-platform BBM, deliver real-time, reliable and secure messaging through its Network Operations Center (NOC), and grow its enterprise mobility and mobile device management business through on-premise and cloud-based solutions for cross-platform devices as well as its own.

Press Release

mtn data sharing

MTN Group To Invest N65Bn Into Africa And Middle East Internet Holding

MTN Group today announced a partnership with Rocket Internet, one of the world’s leading internet incubators, to extend online retail and other essential digital services in the Middle East.

The agreement with Rocket Internet follows a similar partnership, concluded earlier this week, between MTN, Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, to develop internet businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH).

MTN and Rocket Internet will create a joint venture to develop internet businesses in the Middle East, with MTN and Rocket as 50% shareholders in Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH).

Rocket Internet already has a presence in several Middle Eastern countries, and has rolled out a series of high-growth online businesses, including Easytaxi, Lamudi, Namshi and Hellofood.

“The agreement with Rocket marks yet another important milestone in our journey of pursuing digital business adjacencies as one of our key strategic priorities, to drive growth and value for our customers,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO.

The partnership brings together Rocket Internet’s expertise in developing successful global internet business models, and MTN’s leadership position and unique knowledge of the local telecom markets.

Commenting on the partnership, co-founder of Rocket Internet, Oliver Samwer said: “I am very confident that the strategic partnership between MTN and Rocket Internet is going to accelerate the online shift in the Middle East. With joint forces, Middle East Internet Holding will develop its already existing ventures even better and will launch new companies even faster and more successfully.”

MTN expects to invest approximately EUR300million over the next two to four years into AIH and MEIH. The investments are subject to regulatory approval, and the two transactions are expected to close during the first and second quarter of 2014 respectively.

“Through MEIH, MTN and Rocket aim to accelerate and further develop the nascent e-commerce market in the Middle East region,” added Dabengwa.

Source – MTN Group Corporate Affairs

Tecno Live Smart Watch & Win Promo

Tecno Mobile recently released a set of smart hi-tech devices popularly known as the Smart Family. The Smart family members include the amazing Phantom AIII, the portable Phantom Pad mini, the unique M7, the solid P5, the beautiful M5, and the super-fast Phantom A+. These devices are the latest in town and have caught the eye of every lover of technology, keeping everyone talking about Tecno Mobile.

The demand for the members of the Smart Family has been outstanding and has taken a large market share barely weeks after release. In addition to the massive success of the brand, Tecno Mobile has enjoyed a massive growth online and enjoys one of the highest Facebook interaction rates in the country.

To reward its loyal fans, Tecno mobile launched a watch & win promo which requires the participants to watch a series of videos and answer a few questions from what they watched under a very free and fair system. Participants have the opportunity to monitor their progress against others’ by viewing the leader board from time to time. The promo is open to everyone and all participants in this promo stand a chance to win BIG this season.

To WIN BIG on the Tecno Watch & Win Promo, visit tecnolivesmart.com and watch the animated videos. After watching the released episode, take the quiz which is centred on the video you just watched. Each released video comes with its own quiz; therefore you can take part in the quiz simply by watching the videos, sharing with your friends and taking the quiz.

The quiz has 5 questions which carry 2 points each; therefore there is a maximum of 10 points to be earned. In addition, you can earn more points by taking a survey and sharing with friends. You earn 5 bonus points when you complete a survey, 1 bonus point when you share the video and additional points when your friends click your shared link. The more you share, the more your friends click the links, the more bonus points you earn. WINNING BIG has never been easy and fun. Join the league of people who enjoy the unique animated videos.

Be cool…Be informed and #LiveSmart.

[Sponsored Post]

angel

Find And Activate Nigerian Angel Investors

Editor: Francis Onwumere is co-founder and president of Prowork, a project management and collaboration solution for businessYou can follow him on twitter at @digitalcraft

I was lucky to have front row seat during Augie Rakow’s session at the Venture Out Challenge in Moldova. Venture Out focused on giving entrepreneurs the resources and skills necessary to internationalize their startup.

As expected, the question of funding required to scale a startup was on the horizon, Augie, having worked with over 100 startups, angels and venture firms to close investment rounds in Silicon Valley, gave insights from his experience.

SEE ALSO: Foreign VC Will Dominate Nigeria For A While, Here’s Why

In his talk, 10 observations on New Venture Finance, Augie expounded on 10 points, while observation number 4 struck me as Deja Vu – it still had untapped potency.

Network with venture backed CEOs and raise seed money from them.

Was this guy talking about Jason Njoku and SPARK? Must be. Or are there other Jasons (CEOs) and SPARKs (angels) in Nigeria? This got me thinking.

So who else do we have? There’s Tayo Oviosu of Paga (CEO) and He’s already done one angel investment- Yswara, a luxury african tea company in South Africa. Tayo may not be doing a SPARK but he has invested once and he will invest again.

Chika Nwobi of L5Labs- He’s done Jobberman, Cheki, etc. Chika has invested and he will invest again.

There are more out there. Startups spend a long time educating investors, and this is how it should be. But mostly as you don’t have that much time to spare, talking with CEOs of tech companies who already get your business model would save you precious time. Time to investment.

And there are other venture backed CEOs out there. I think we need to find them and activate them.

So I thought the best way to find them is to crowd source the information. I created a hackpad called Venture Backed Tech CEOs in Africa that we can collaboratively edit. I already put in the names of some of the people I mentioned above, and I hope you can find time to add other CEOs whose names belong in there and make that very important list.

Find them. Activate them.

As seen on TechCabal

What You Need To Know About Startup Funding Rounds – Series A and B

venture round is a type of funding round used for venture capital financing, by which startup companies obtain investment, generally from venture capitalists and other institutional investors. The availability of venture funding is among the primary stimuli for the development of new companies and technologies.

Series A Funding

Series A Preferred Stock is the first round of stock offered during the seed or early stage round by a portfolio company to the venture capitalist. Series A preferred stock is convertible into ordinary shares in certain cases such as an Initial Public Offer or the sale of the company. Series A rounds are a critical stage in the funding of new companies.

A typical Series A round is in the range of $2 million to $10 million, purchases 20% to 40% of the company, and is intended to capitalize the company for 6 months to 2 years as the company develops its products, performs initial marketing and branding, hires its initial employees, and otherwise undertakes early stage business operations.

Jobberman is one company that fits this shoe. Because there are no public exchanges listing their securities, private companies meet venture capital firms and other private equity investors in several ways, including warm referrals from the investors’ trusted sources and other business contacts; investor conferences and symposia; and summits where companies pitch directly to investor groups in face-to-face meetings.

Smaller investment amounts are not worth the legal and financial expense, the burden on a company of adjusting its capital structure to serve new investors, and the analysis and due diligence on the part of institutional investors. A company that needs money for operations but is not yet ready for venture capital will typically seek angel capital. Larger amounts are usually unwarranted given the cost of business in fields such as software, data services, telecommunications, and so on.

However, there are routinely Series A rounds in excess of $10 million in fields such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and real estate development. There are many Series A rounds in other business contexts, underwritten by investment banks, corporate investors, angel investors, public agencies, and others, that do not often receive press coverage. They all share a similar legal and financial framework, but specific terminology, deal terms, and investment practices vary according to business customs within different countries, business sectors, investor communities, and geographical regions.

Series B Funding

Because the company will generally have advanced its business by the time of the B-round financing, it will typically have a higher valuation by this time. This means that the Series B investor will usually pay a higher price for investing in the company than the Series A investor. Private equity investors prefer convertible preferred stock to common stock for the various financing rounds because of the special features of preferred stock, such as dividend accrual and anti-dilution, that may not be available in common stock.

As seen on Tech 360