Over the years we’ve seen some of Nigeria’s fintech startups that have failed for one reason or the other. It’s no doubt Africa’s fintech startups have demonstrated their ability to go big by providing three out of the only 5 unicorns in Africa – Flutterwave, Interswitch, Fawry, and Jumia in e-commerce.
There’s a lot of talk about the movers and shakers of Africa’s fintech space, needless to say, some very brilliant startups that created a shockwave with their innovative ideas but failed are left in obscurity. Here’s to remembering some of Nigeria’s fintech startups that failed and how they could have contributed to the Africa’s transformation.
In 2017, Zoto was launched in Nigeria by Emmanuel Oshone and his co-founders with the aim of putting the power of digital transactions in the hands of everyday Nigerians. Zoto sent a shockwave across the country with their generous campaign where they gave N1000 ($2.43) to anyone who signs up. It was a gesture Nigerians weren’t used to at the time.
Following a series of affordable and discounted rates for utility bills, the fintech company broke the news in 2018 that it will be shutting down its services with the founder moving on to other things.
Launched in 2011 by serial entrepreneur Sim Shagaya. It was an e-commerce platform that wanted to make items more affordable for people by offering great deals on a daily basis. By 2015 Deal Dey was among the top e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, attracting $5 million dollars in funding from Kinnevik.
However, the fintech startup thread rocky roads and had to lay off 60% of its staff in 2015. Leading to the company’s decision to lay off 60% of its staff by the end of 2015. DealDey was said to have failed as a result of the fierce competition it faced from Jumia and Konga, who were better financed.
OyaPay is considered one of the most promising Nigerian fintech startups that failed. It wanted to enable unbanked businesses to make digital transactions even without a smartphone. OyaPay’s work would have contributed to boosting financial inclusion in a country where 56 percent of the population are unbanked.
Founded by Abdulhamid Hassan and his co-founders in 2017, the shutdown of OyaPay in 2019 was a sad one for Nigeria’s startup ecosystem. The fintech startup barely survived the first year into its launch. OyaPay was faced with the challenge of a family investment that went south.
According to Hassan when the was the need for more investors, a senior family member did not welcome the idea of diluting his investment. Following failed attempts to resolve the issue, OyaPay’s journey had to come to an end.
All in all, we can only trust the up and coming fintech startup founders to learn from Nigeria’s fintech startups that have failed.
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