Nigeria’s Best Startups of 2010

As we gradually say goodbye to 2010, I thought we should profile the best new startups launched during the year.

So I’ve compiled my list of the best startups that were launched (either in private or public beta) between January to December 2010.

Some of these startups have been on my radar and although I’m not sure which one of them is my favourite startup in 2010, they’ll probably be on my list of startups to watch in 2011.

Without much ado, here are the best startups that launched in 2010.

[Note: This is my list of the best startups that launched in 2010. Please feel free to point me to any startup that you think should or shouldn’t be on the list].

In no particular order:

YarnPad – a Twitter-clone launched in May 2010 by Deji Kadri and Victor Sylva. (still in public beta) is a real-time information network that let’s you share and discuss what’s hapenning now – wetin people dey ‘yarn’ about.

Lotaar – a social television and radio guide launched in July 2010 by Oo Nwoye and Roland Okor. (still in public beta) is built to remind you when your favourite TV and radio programmes are about to start, so you can tune in.

Sowambe – a pan-African social media lifestyle brand co-founded by Loy Okezie and Francis Oghuma. (still in private beta) showcases social media adopters and tracks trends in social media with insights and analysis into the emerging social media industry. – a URL shortener launched in February 2010 by Ahmad Mukoshy. The 5-lettered domain name better spoken as “Yarn Me” (Nigerian slang word for “tell me”) can shorten up to 2,000 characters length of web addresses to merely 20 characters just like

Identified – a social recruiting tool co-founded by Adeyemi Ajao. takes your professional data across the social web and compounds it into a simple, yet robust career-building experience.

Mysifty – a social media feeds prioritizer launched in December 2010 by Jacob Ajayi. let’s you prioritize your social media life so that you can choose priority friends and brands to follow on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Netaviva – a web-based  application that provides business/social networking tools founded in June 2010 by Stanley Ojadovwa. connects professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs in African with their projects, ideas or business proposals.

DokitaSAYS – is a Q&A service for health-related issues founded by Tosin Oguntuase in May 2010. allows you to ask health-related questions and get answers from real doctors.

Yarnable – a micro-discussion site launched in May 2010 by Ahmad Mukoshy allows you create and share short topics of interest in under 140 characters. is a handy tool for your real time status updates answering the one simple question “What is happening”?

Nwalla – was launched as a Gowalla-like location based service to help people discover and share “the next best thing” in their area – eateries, hair stylists, malls, shopping centers, cinemas or just about any place they’ve visited. Today, has a classifieds site that allow people buy and sell their stuffs.

What to expect in 2011

Most of the startups we saw in 2010 were clones (with a bit of innovation) of global startups.

The only ‘somewhat’ original ideas we saw were from startups like Lotaar, Identified and Mysifty.

My expectation for startups in 2011 would be an idea that creates value, addresses a need or solves a local problem.

What’s the point creating a service that only you and your friends get to use, when there are probably over 60 million Nigerians online today.

In 2011, technology entrepreneurs should focus on developing mobile web solutions and mobile apps for the over 85 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria.

Interestingly, there are some cool mobile ad revenue models that are waiting to be tapped.

Remember, the future is mobile…the future is now.

[Note: This is my list of the best startups that launched in 2010. Please feel free to point me to any startup that you think should or shouldn’t be on the list].

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