I have come across some exciting Nigerian startups in the past month or so which I’ve been impressed with, but what good is that knowledge if I don’t share it with you?
While none of them is promising to build the first electric car in Nigeria; or working on taking you to space soon – the two things which are the rage right now in the global tech-space – they still are very important because in my opinion, they are solving simple everyday problems peculiar to our society with tools we are already familiar with.
So here goes:
I am sure I’m not the only one who has been trying to cultivate a savings culture all through life. This startup promises to address that problem and help you achieve your target savings in a relatively simple way. On piggybank.ng, you can choose to save as often as you want – daily, weekly or even monthly.
What’s interesting is that once you have filled the initial online savings application (which includes adding your bank and payment card details); you pretty much don’t have to do anything else. The savings are automatically deducted from your account on your pre’-specified savings intervals. The savings are typically for three months after which you can withdraw all your money for free with an interest of 1% on top.
You also can choose to withdraw from your savings at anytime, in the case of an emergency for instance, but at a cost. I understand the withdrawal cost is to discourage you from plunging into your savings before the maturity date and that’s understandable. www.piggybank.ng
If you are just starting out in a place like Lagos, with its crazy rent prices and unending traffic, this should interest you. Fibre.ng will basically allow you to rent a furnished room or full house and pay for it on a monthly basis. Considering that the average Landlord asks for two years’ rent upfront, this is a huge deal.
It is great option if you are just going to be in the city for a short period say a month or two. (Changed my mind after looking at the pricing) It might make sense for someone who just got a job in Lagos and doesn’t have the money to pay for a year or two upfront which is what the typical Lagos landlord will require you to pay.
I believe this will have great impact on the standard of living of people as they can now afford to live closer to work since they will pay monthly thereby removing the frustrations of Lagos traffic. Fibre.ng haven’t officially launched at the time of writing this but you can apply to get early access and other information on the website – www.fibre.ng
I had the opportunity to work for someone who did interviews for a living once. Her biggest challenge was converting the interviews, which were conducted as audio recordings to text.
My boss at the time always complained about this problem a lot, as did her colleagues in media and journalism. It can take as much as 40 minutes to fully transcribe a 10-minute interview and that’s on a good day.
Transcribe M, takes the burden of transcribing your audio off you.
The market for transcribe M may not look like much at first, but when you consider all the other areas asides from interviews where their services can be deployed, it begins to make sense. For instance, there are a lot of video content providers who are trying to add subtitles to their content, this is one area they can be of use. Then considering how poor Nollywood subtitles are, If transcribe M were to add a translation service into their business, Nollywood as a whole would be a potential market for them.
The downside is they don’t have a website (yet), I can’t for the life of me understand why (someone please remind them that this is 2016!), but you can reach them on Twitter – @Transcribem
Needs and emergencies typically sneak up on you like a thief in the night. And almost usually when you are expecting your next pay cheque; as if they are on a timetable. That’s where Paylater comes in.
Paylater.ng gives you access to short-term loans (15 – 30 days). The nice thing is that the application process from start to finish can be done online through your smart device. They promise that every approved loan will be available within 24 hours after your application is received. This is awesome because it provides as a way out when one is cash strapped. They just launched and the maximum amount that can be borrowed for starters is N10000. If you choose to pay back after 15 days the interest will be N1500 and N3000 for 30 days (basically 1% daily). For services like this, the interest rate and loan duration usually become more flexible as time goes on. The most interesting thing about this product for me is the ease with which you can apply for as well as receive your loans. www.paylater.ng
DropBuddies is an on-demand delivery platform accessible from the web and via its mobile apps. The service is a basically a network of independent courier agents (drop buddies) who would help you pick up goods for delivery. Once there’s a delivery request, the local couriers are notified of delivery requests within their locality by push notifications through an app specially built for couriers; within the app they can view all delivery requests within their area and accept whichever they are interested in.
It’s basically an “Uber for deliveries”.
I find this idea to be cool because it brings more flexible delivery options to the table. It also allows you make money as a drop buddy, which you can use to offset some of your transportation costs especially when the delivery is along your route. Although I didn’t see any sort of pricing information on their website, I like to imagine that it will be competitive with traditional courier services. You can check them out at www.dropbuddies.com