An article from Quartz analysing the startups in Africa, has declared that Lagos is set to takeover Nairobi as Africa’s startup capital.
It appears that when startups in Africa come about they spring up across three major ecosystems: Nairobi, Cape Town and Lagos.
Over the past year, it’s has become the continent’s most valuable ecosystem with its startups typically raising far more in early-stage funding. It is home to Jumia and Konga and has brought forth some of the continent’s best known startups including Andela, iROKO and Flutterwave which have all attracted major global investor interest.
Tech companies have began paying attention and are now backing that up with some action. Last week, Facebook said it will open a tech hub in Lagos—it’s first in Africa—”early next year.” The hub is in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub, one of Nigeria’s most prominent startup hubs, and will have incubation programs for startups and developers. They will also run training programs for 50,000 Nigerians as part of a digital skills training program. Facebook’s decision to deepen its operations in Nigeria comes a little over a year after Mark Zuckerberg, its CEO, chose Lagos for his first visit to Africa.
In July, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, on his first visit to Nigeria, announced the company’s plans to open its first Google Launchpad Space outside the United States in Lagos. Earlier this month, it hosted the first ever Google Developers Launchpad Start, a one week long boot-camp, for early stage startups in Lagos.
For Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has opened its first incubator in Lagos on Nov. 21. MEST has invested more than $20 million in African entrepreneurs so far. Last year, it kicked off plans to build a pan-African presence and Lagos, “the largest market by far,” was the obvious choice says Aaron Fu, managing director, MEST
“What has changed over the last two or three years is that from the quantity we saw in the beginning, we’re now really starting to see the quality [of Nigerian start-ups],” van Vugt said at the MEST Lagos launch. “I spent some time in Nairobi a couple years back when it was really the start-up capital of Africa but we’ve seen this start-up capital status shift to Lagos.”