First Lekki, then Yaba: The Nigerian internet start-up hub story
The internet business space has recently gone into a boom especially in Nigeria, to be more precise Lagos. This is very interesting because some 4 years ago there where only very few players. Nigeria was not even considered as a major market although was acknowledged as a potential.
Having been around the space for a while now, there has been a consistent increase in the number of players. Since the major launch of internet businesses in Nigeria you may have noticed that Lekki has been one of the major spots for online start-ups. This however has not fully being recognized, I think.
Jobberman as the forerunner
Jobberman, for instance, started in 2008 and found a good location in Lekki, this was around the time when a lot of people where just starting to keep off going online. Nevertheless, they helped pave the way for online businesses in Nigeria. Since then I have noticed a consistent increase in online start-ups in Lekki.
SEE ALSO: The house Ile-Ife built – Jobberman founders share the lessons their startup has taught them
Now you will find major tech incubator hubs located in Yaba such as CcHub, iDEA, and Technovision, others using Yaba as the heart of tech in Lagos when most people are missing where the older guys started. Lekki has played a big role in the tech start up industry in Lagos and I see it as major hub for start-ups.
Going back to the start
Jumia one of Nigeria’s top online retailer started from Lekki in 2012, Checki the online car classified website, Sabunta, Buyam, Tranzit, Qluqlu, City Chops, Hello Foods, Kaymu, Jovago, Sunglasses.com, Pulse.ng, Glamour.com.ng and a lot more have come out of Lekki.
Although some of these online businesses have closed down and others moved on, the fact remains Lekki is one of the start up hubs to look out for in Lagos. There are so many businesses starting up in Lekki that people are not aware of. Just recently Capital square (a co-working space) and Venia Business Hub opened up shop in Lekki along side Rocket Internet’s incubator for the new ventures in Nigeria. So you can imagine the number of start ups in Lekki that originated and will come out from here.
True, Lekki seems to be mostly residential but there is the business side of Lekki that is growing and it doesn’t stop at malls and restaurants, it continues with growing online businesses that extend beyond the reach of the community, so when next you are in Lagos don’t stop your start-up tour on the mainland but come down to Lekki as well.
Updated 30/05/2014 – As at 2008, Jobberman was still an “idea” in Ile-Ife, it moved to Lagos office fully in 2010, and the initial office was on Kakawa Street, Lagos Island, it was not until 2011 that they moved into their Lekki office.
As seen on Living In Lekki.