Do  Nigerian tech startups stand a chance of success? Nigeria already has several successful startups in a variety of technology niches ranging from entertainment to digital payment processing to computer programming. Andela, a startup focused on nurturing African talents in computer coding is one of the prominent Nigerian tech startups making global headlines. As such, Andela’s story shows Nigerian homegrown startups stand a chance of success. There is a lot about tech startup survival that one should know about.

But is it easy to succeed in Nigeria? The Nigeria market presents startups with opportunities and challenges in almost equal measure. The country’s population of more than 170 million people is a huge market for startups to target and monetize. Then there is the rapidly growing internet penetration, with more than 48% of the population having access to the internet. More than 92% of Nigeria’s population now has mobile phones, with smartphones penetration reaching more than 30% of the population.

How is the Tech Startup Survival in Nigeria?


While deepening internet and smartphone penetration are expanding the technology consumer market in Nigeria, the country’s tech startups are held back by several challenges. Power is one of the major problems. Not only are many parts of the country lacking access to mains power supply, but even those parts connected to the national grid still face problems of erratic electricity supply.

This problem is forcing startups to divert the money they would otherwise use to spur growth into buying power backup systems. Not only does acquisition of alternative power systems such as generators require huge upfront investment, but they are also costly to run, thus resulting in liquidity shortage problems that in the end cripple many promising tech startups.


There are multiple challenges for Nigerian tech startups to confront. There is a chance for smart entrepreneurs to succeed in this market. But success in a challenging market such as what Nigeria presents requires a clear vision and thick skin on the side of the entrepreneurs. Besides the infrastructural challenges, Nigerian tech startups must cope with growing competition in domestic and global technology arena. But having a clear vision is one of the ways to stay competitive.

Nigerians want solutions to their problem. Identifying the problems to solve, developing an action plan and executing that plan are the keys to success in emerging markets. Any startup should strive to understand its target market. Success is almost guaranteed for Nigeria startups seeking to solve people’s problems. These opportunities exist in healthcare, education, retail and finance sectors.

Getting it Right in a Developing Market

In a developing economy such as Nigeria, tech startups can succeed quickly by developing platforms that are user-friendly. If it is an e-commerce site, product discovery and checkout should be hassle-free. It is a country where internet data is still priced expensively. No one wants to waste time on a site that takes them round in cycles and consumes their precious internet data. As such, the more sharply focused and simplified a platform is the more it is likely to appeal to more users.


One of the major problem areas for Nigerian tech startups is funding. Many brilliant startup ideas have perished mainly because of a lack of financial resources to turn the dreams into reality. However, while venture capital investors are beginning to pour their money in Nigerian startups. It is still important for entrepreneurs to be careful. While a lack of funding can kill a vision, toxic investment is equally dangerous for startup survival. As such, an entrepreneur should make sure they understand the terms of the investment. They must also make sure that the investor shares their vision.

Nigeria is a promising technology market. Its homegrown startups have an advantage if they can cope with infrastructural challenges. And if offer the solutions the people want and avoid the pitfalls.

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