2021 started on a rather gloomy note, due to world economies recovering from the devastating effects of COVID-19 and the lockdown that followed. Despite the ups and downs, the year has been quite eventful for tech innovators.
In this article, we are going to highlight ten techpreneurs that have been quite exemplary in 2021.
This list is in no particular order.
In a world where education seems to be one of the worst hit sectors by the pandemic and the imminent lockdown, Sim Shagaya, a serial founder, made a move to help students keep learning through an edtech startup called uLesson.
Being a serial innovator, Mr Shagaya also founded e-Commerce company, Konga, as well as E-Motion Advertising. uLesson has gone ahead to raise over $22m in both Series A (January) and B (December) funding rounds.
Olugbenga “GB” Agboola
The Lagos born entrepreneur is known with his role as the co-founder and CEO of the fintech company – Flutterwave. Before his achievements at Flutterwave, he has worked with known firms like PayPal and GTBank.
This year, he led Flutterwave to its Unicorn status after the company closed a $170m Series C funding round which ushered Flutterwave’s valuation over the $1 billion mark.
Flutterwave is currently one of the five fintech companies to attain unicorn status. GB confirms that Flutterwave would be getting listed on either the New York Stock exchange, or have a dual listing in the US and Nigeria.
Born of Nigerian and German parents, Laurin spent his childhood in Germany and only moved to Nigeria as an adult. He studied Corporate Law at The Hague in Netherland, before proceeding to work with the Indonesian stock exchange.
He works as co-founder and CEO of fintech company – FairMoney. In the past, Laurin has worked as co-founder of NitroGo AB, Sweden, as well as CEO and Early-Stage Investor at Le Studio VC. In July, FairMoney raised $42m in its Series B funding round, and hopes to expand into emerging markets.
She currently works as co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at PiggyVest, as well as co-founder and COO at PushCV. A graduate of Computer Engineering from Covenant University, Odunayo used to work as writer and content creator at TEchCabal, TechPoint, and Zikoko. Odunayo co-founded PiggyVest with Ayo Akinola, Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, and Somto Ifezue.
He is the co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) and Truppr. He has a diploma in Computer Science, and a B.Sc in Economics from University of Jos. He later got an MBA from Lagos Business School, and an M.Sc in Information Systems Management from University of Warwick. CcHUB is one of Africa’s largest network of tech talents, and is present in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda.
Yanmo is the co-founder and COO at Bamboo. Prior to her position at Bamboo, she worked as an Investment Associate at African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM). She is a graduate of the Imperial College of London, where she studied Chemical Engineering.
In 2019, Yanmo co-founded the digital investment platform – Bamboo – with Richmond Bassay. Bamboo has given Nigerians real-time access to buy, hold, and sell stocks of over 3,000 companies listed on the US stock market, right from their mobile devices.
She is the co-founder and CEO of online savings platform – Bankly. She has over 7 years’ experience in the financial industry. She obtained a B.Sc in Physiology from the University of Lagos in 2009; a certificate in Strategic Innovation and Business Development from the Lagos Business School; and an MBA in Finance, Investment Banking and Management from SP Jain School of Global Management.
She has previous working experience with ALEDIN Nano Limited, and Frontline Strategy Limited.
Born in the northern part of Nigeria, Madubuko studied Microbiology at the University of Anambra state. She later progressed to studying Biotechnology and Bioengineering at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.
Madubuko is the co-founder and CEO of Greymate Care, which was founded in 2016, after a member of her family took ill. The healthtech company match patients with appropriate caregivers after selecting the type of services they require. The company manages over 1,000 caregivers who are trained in different health-related skills.
He is the co-founder and CEO of Kuda bank – a full-service digital-only bank that is fully licensed by Nigeria’s apex bank. He co-founded Motortrader – a classified car ad magazine in Nigeria. He has also worked with Redbrick Ltd as Partner, PwC as Engagement manager, Kudimoney as co-founder, as well as Special Adviser on Finance to former governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state (2011 – 2015).
Babs schooled in The Downs School, Kings College, London, and Brunel University of London, where got a B.A. in Business Studies and Accounting.
Yele is the CEO and co-founder of Nestcoin, as well as a Founding Partner at venture firm – Microtraction. Yele did not start as a techpreneur. He studied Medicine at King’s College, London, before dropping out of medical school.
After dropping out of Medical school, he launched his first startup – Purple – a social app that connects UK students with shared interests. He has worked as CEO and Founder at Bundle Africa, as well as Director at Binance Lab.