Nigerian startup, Flutterwave has emerged as the most valuable company from Africa according to American seed accelerator, Y Combinator’s (YC) list.
Y Combinator (YC) has released a list of the top 102 most valuable companies that have graduated from the accelerator. On the list, each company is said to be valued at $150 million at least, with all companies having a combined valuation of $155 billion while creating more than 50,000 jobs.
[READ MORE: Facebook acquires tech startup]
Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech startup, which was the only African company that made the list was ranked 97th out of the 102 startups. The startup has raised a total of $20.1 million to date, with the latest known round made in October 2018.
Others which made the list include startups from South America, Europe, Asia and North America which had the largest share of startups on the list.
Why this matters: Although about 34 startups have been accepted into the accelerator, only a handful of them have raised fund seeding or made significant follow-up rounds not to talk of being among YC’s top list. However, this feat achieved by Flutterwave shows that African startups are starting to get their due recognition.
What you should know: Every year, YC invests $120,000 in startups that participate in its programme. The founders of these startups then move to Silicon Valley where they work with YC for three months and participate in the Demo Day to access support, mentoring, and more funding. All these, in exchange for 7% equity.
Since launching in 2005, YC has made over 2,000 investments and, for the first time last year, published a list of its most valuable companies. While most of the companies from the 2018 list made this year’s list, this is the first time an African startup has made the cut.
About Flutterwave: Flutterwave Inc. is a payment startup founded over a year ago to build underlying payments infrastructure for African businesses to accept a card, mobile money, and bank account payments in a single place. The company was founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola.
How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion
Businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The Nigerian economy is projected to grow by $8.79 billion in the next three years to 2023, driven largely by the ICT, agriculture, health, finance and insurance sectors, according to a new study by global training providers elev8 and the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU).
More than half of the projected growth will come from the ICT sector, as companies continue to create innovative products and services leveraging ICT and telecoms. To take advantage of this growth, however, businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The research comes off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has laid bare the digital divide, with those businesses having invested sufficiently in their digital capabilities overtaking those firms who failed to do so.
However, this trend of digitally forward businesses outperforming their technology-inferior counterparts isn’t new, the study reveals. Analysis of the data, which went back as far as 1992, showed that the major companies outperforming others in Nigeria are those that spend more on upskilling, research and development, and technology acquisition.
Economic rewards await
In recognition of its benefits, Nigeria has made efforts in the past, and continues to make more efforts at digitalizing its economy. The progress made in Nigeria’s ICT sub sector has had a positive effect on its gross domestic product (GDP). Research shows that the sector’s contribution to GDP has risen from 7.70 percent in 2012 to 14.30 percent by Q2 2020.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, launched in 2019, aims to improve digital literacy and skills to build out the country’s digital capabilities.
However, the digital infrastructure readiness in Nigeria is still far below the global average. For this to be upgraded, the current skill set of government employees working in this area will need to be updated. This should warrant the designing of training programs that will help the government raise the level of digital infrastructure in Nigeria in the shortest possible time and at affordable costs.
The high economic rewards from closing the digital skills gap should see this become an even greater priority. If the entire Nigerian economy is digitalized, the country could take a bigger bite of the global digital economy, which is estimated at $11.5 trillion.
Where digital leaders are made
Global training provider elev8 offers training programs focused on the latest technologies, and is uniquely placed to help businesses and the Nigerian government connect to opportunities as highlighted in the report.
Bringing together renowned industry experts, elev8 offers the flexibility of virtual classrooms or face-to-face programs, depending on what’s best for the organization and its learners.
Taking a holistic approach, power skills like communication, collaboration and analytical thinking are embedded into elev8’s technical training in order to develop well-rounded digital experts who can bring the most value to their employers.
Training methods are practical and action-based – built around projects, tackling real business challenges – enabling learners to put theory into practice from the day one.
No matter the technical need, elev8 can design and implement bespoke solutions tailored to a company’s individual requirements.
elev8’s global academy equips business leaders, teams and organizations with the skills they need to leverage the technologies of the future and transform Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy.
To read the report in full, or to discover more about the elev8 training academy, go to www.elev8me.com/en-us/africa.
Covid-19: WHO says the promise of vaccine is a game changer
The WHO has stated that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
The World Health Organization has said that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, during a press briefing at Copenhagen on Thursday, December 2, 2020, according to a report from Reuters.
Kluge said there are expectations that there would be limited supplies of Covid-19 vaccine supplies at the early stages and as such countries must decide who gets priority.
However, the WHO emphasized that there is a growing consensus among stakeholders that older people, medical workers, and people that share the virus with some other health conditions will be among the first recipients of the vaccine.
What you should know
It can be recalled that yesterday, UK regulator gave its approval to the Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech, moving ahead of the rest of the world, including the United States in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
- This follows the announcement by Pfizer that the vaccine proved 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical-trial data for its phase 3 study.
- In addition, Biotech firm, Moderna Inc, also announced that its Covid-19 experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary study.
- The United States and European Union regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but are yet to give their approval.
- The WHO revealed on Wednesday it had received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the vaccine and was reviewing it for possible listing for emergency use, a minimum condition for countries to authorize national use.
elev8 Education launches New Academy to upskill Nigeria’s digital and technology talent
The launch was officially announced in Lagos on 3 December 2020 with a digital dialogue event.
elev8, a global academy that offers specialized technology training programs, officially announced the launch of its new academy in Lagos with a series of virtual events focused on digital enablement through training and skills development in Nigeria.
elev8’s mission is to equip businesses and individuals with the skills they need to leverage the potential of innovative technologies, creating competitive advantage and attracting international investment to the local economy.
Following a successful launch in Costa Rica in 2019, elev8 has helped to reskill hundreds of professionals, setting local talent on the path to new careers and supporting the country’s technological development. The company has now set its sights on Africa, where elev8 will be looking to replicate this model to help transform Nigeria’s business landscape.
With the digital economy predicted to account for a quarter of global GDP over the next few years, many businesses are looking to accelerate digital adoption to drive growth and ensure efficiency, particularly against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. elev8 is positioned to support organizations in growing their digital footprint through its executive programs, intensive bootcamps and tailored training programs.
Ashim Egunjobi, Country Head for elev8 Nigeria, said:
“As the biggest economy in Africa, with one of the largest populations of young people in the world, effectively skilling talent will be the major differentiator to staying competitive in today’s increasingly digital world. elev8 aims to help assess the digital skills maturity of private and public sector organizations and tailor skilling roadmaps to close the gap.”
The launch was officially announced in Lagos on 3 December 2020 with a digital dialogue event themed “The Knowledge Based Economy – A pathway to Nigeria’s digitally enabled future”. The event was attended by key figures within Nigeria’s digital and technology sectors. Industry pioneers and representatives of leading organizations such as Dr. Omobola Johnson, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olatubosun Alake, Ola Williams and Ashim Egunjobi discussed opportunities for digital transformation in Nigeria and how it affects businesses and the economy over the next three years.
To find out more about elev8 visit: https://www.elev8me.com/
elev8 is a global academy that offers technology specialized training programs. We are passionate about driving business development and growth in a constantly evolving and increasingly challenging digital landscape.
Our global academy equips business leaders, teams, and organizations with the skills they need to leverage the potential of innovative technologies and digital trends.
As government and industry look to prepare Nigeria´s labor force for growth, elev8 offers unique learning opportunities to equip people with the most in-demand skills and experience in exciting modern technologies, including big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud, and cybersecurity.
To find out more about elev8 visit: https://www.elev8me.com/