TechLoy‘s inaugural list of the fastest growing Internet companies in Nigeria takes a look at the companies that are disrupting their industries, changing consumer’s lives and building the most market share.
These privately-held companies have compelling business models, strong management teams, loyal customers/users, strategic partners and some have attracted investment capital.
In this list, we’ve chosen eight companies that have excelled in their respective industries with game-changing ideas and the greatest impact on users/consumers over the past year.
From e-commerce services to online entertainment hubs, here are Nigeria’s fastest growing Internet companies of 2011.
Dealdey, a group-buying service launched in March 2011 has successfully changed the e-commerce space in Nigeria, allowing its members in Lagos and Abuja to get discounts on a range of products and services in restaurants, spas, as well as retail shops.
With over 100,000 members on its platform and over N10 million saved in discounted deals as at December 2011, Dealdey.com has become the go-to source for the best daily deals in Nigeria.
The company received $1 million in funding through its parent company e-Motion Advertising, which received a significant investment from Sweden-based Kinnevik, an investment holding company.
Jobberman, the leading job search portal in Nigeria has redefined the way job seekers and professionals search and find jobs.
Founded in August 2009, Jobberman saw its biggest growth in traffic and visitors in 2011 after it developed a unique job widget that have been easily embedded on websites across the web.
With about 8000 jobs currently listed, Jobberman.com sees about 50,000 unique views per day and its mobile site relaunched in August 2011 gets 60%-65% of the total views.
In 2011, job listings increased approximately 600% from 261 at the beginning of the year to 1600 monthly as at November 2011. The number of companies using the job search portal to advertise their vacancies increased by 1000% from 38 to 398 as at December 2011.
In the same year, Jobberman saw a bullish growth in number of job applications which grew 2000% from 2,411 to 59,825 monthly as at December 2011. Unique visitors for the job search portal shows over 200,000 via PC and about 90,000 via mobile as at year-end 2011.
Its website traffic equally surged over the past year, as Alexa ranked Jobberman.com as one of the top 20 websites in Nigeria as at December 2011.
The job search company received about N10 million in seed funding from L5Lab, a business incubator and advisory company based in Lagos, Nigeria in January 2010. In early 2011, Jobberman reportedly received another ‘undisclosed’ round of funding from a group of investors.
The company has since moved into its new office in the Lekki area of Lagos and currently has over 40 employees.
As Nigeria’s leading business and information search provider, VConnect.com is arguably the fastest growing web portal in Nigeria.
Launched in March 2011, the portal provides the most reliable and exhaustive information about businesses, products and services on the web and through its information call centre.
With over 300,000 business listings, the web portal saw its traffic significantly increase over the past 6 months. It currently ranks among the top 15 sites in Nigeria, making it the 3rd most visited Nigerian site as at December 2011.
Paga, a mobile payment service officially launched its commercial and marketing operations in September 2011, after being in pilot testing mode since September 2010 allowing users to pay bills, purchase recharge cards, transfer money, etc via their mobile phones.
As at December 2011, Paga had about 70 employees, over 40,000 users and had processed over US $1.6 million (over N250 million) in volume, that is over 40,000 transactions since February 2011 when it acquired its license from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
With significant undisclosed investments from Tim Draper, a renowned Venture Capitalist based in the United States in March 2011 and Goodwell West Africa, a mico-finance investment vehicle in May 2011, Paga is one of the fastest growing financial services companies in Nigeria.
The company is building its agent network, now over 500 agents across the country and are also building a grassroots distribution network which would see it achieving 30,000 agents by 2015.
Wakanow is an online travel company providing a one-stop portal and mobile applications for searching and comparing cheap flights and hotels and other travel-related services in Nigeria.
With over 46,000 local and international hotels in 900 cities globally, Wakanow.com features airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals and many other travel services from a broad selection of partners.
In June 2011, Wakanow launched its revolutionary and innovative travel app for Blackberry devices, the first of its kind in Africa, with the goal of enhancing user experience with travel-related search.
Following the redesign of its website, the company saw over 600,000 unique visitors and a total of 2 million visits during 2011.
Iroko Partners is a digital media and entertainment company founded in 2010 with initial funding of $100,000 from its founders, Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter.
The company has the exclusive rights to distribute all of Nollywood movies digitally and boasts the largest collection of movies available anywhere, organized in one place.
Iroko Partners currently has over 60 staff and has made over $1 million in revenues mainly from adverts on movies on its Youtube channel, NollywoodLove alone.
In 2011, Iroko Partners successfully launched, arguably, the three most exciting platforms of the Nigerian Internet entertainment space, namely, iROKOtv.com, iROKtv and iROKING.com.
iROKOtv, its Nollywood movies streaming platform, alone, attracted about 1 million visitors in its first month of launch, making it the fastest growing internet platform in 2011.
During 2011, Iroko Partners generated approximately 152 million views across its NollywoodLove, YorubaLove and short-clip channels. It is expected that this could grow to over 300 million views across its YouTube channels and movies channel.
Through its music streaming platform, iROKING.com, the company has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to demonstrate to artists how their content should be valued.
Having signed and sealed exclusive deals with a huge array of Nigerian artists to distribute their music digitally and manage their content exclusively online as well as being the only company with the sole rights to distribute Nollywood movies online, Iroko Partners has succeeded in disrupting the Nigerian entertainment industry as we knew it.
Dealfish, a free classified ads site launched in 2010 disrupted Nigeria’s online marketplace during the past year with its unusual business strategy and savviness.
The MIH Internet Africa-backed company invested a lot of $$$ into online ad campaigns on Google across local and global sites as well as above the line advertising, including buses in Lagos during 2011 which saw its traffic and visitors surge within the year.
As a result, the company became Nigeria’s most popular classified ads service in 2011 and continues to innovate and grow amidst stiff competition.
In December 2011, Dealfish launched its own 20-page classified ads newspaper, in a bid to woo new users who are not online to take advantage of its growing marketplace.
The company claims to have over 100,000 classified listings which are available via web and mobile as well as through its android app launched in September 2011.
TruSpot! is Africa’s largest social music platform with several strategic partnerships and alliances with African record labels and artists.
Truspot! boasts the largest African music database available on the web, and through its blackberry app, which is the first of its kind in Africa, the service provides music streaming to its users via mobile.
TruSpot! has over 8 million unique visitors since launch in 2006, with about 80,000 registered users as at December 2011. With revenues primarily from ad sales and album sales commissions on its platform, the company is planning a paid-subscription model for music streaming on its platform.
The company launched in South Africa last November after signing deals with top SA music artists and record labels.
TechLoy developed the list of Nigeria’s Most Influential Internet Companies of 2011 based on the companies we felt have devised the best strategies in disrupting their respective industries.
Although none of these companies were infallible or without controversy, we believe that each company played a major role in its business over the past year and could shape the country’s Internet landscape in the years to come.
Before we came up with this list, we looked at each company’s product offerings and adoption rate, their usage growth, their unique visitors, their staff strength and how often each company appeared in the news in 2011.
Since all of these companies are privately-held, we couldn’t ascertain their revenues and profits during the period, and as such this list does not take a comprehensive approach into evaluating each companys’ current financial strength and future business potential.