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Nigeria’s Thank U Cash joins Canva and Udemy as America’s 500 Startup family: How Nigerian initiatives are scaling beyond odds

Nigeria's Thank U Cash joins Canva and Udemy as America's 500 Startup family: How Nigerian initiatives are scaling beyond odds

500 Startups, a San Francisco based seed accelerator programme company for innovative firms, has listed Nigeria’s Fintech startup Thank U Cash among other international startups to join its 26th seed accelerator programme.

Thank U Cash, from the pile of 29 successful startups, listed as the only African-founded company in the rounds of about 3000 startups that earlier applied to be considered.

This is how Thank U Cash, a connected analytical company, providing clients with real-time data documenting transactional behaviours of customers, joined the league of America’s 500 Startups family where leading digital design portal Canva and edutech champion Udemy are already member-startups.

This success speaks of how Nigerian Startups are not faring completely badly, and how some promising, distruptive ideas from this West African part of the world are receiving supports on the global front.

It’s still a depressing fact, however, that Nigeria, which is arguably the commercial capital of Africa, remains strangled as it struggles to improve its methodologies by adopting mechanism to facilitate the ease of doing business for the citizens.

Aside of being one of the most marketable space to reap profit in Africa and remaining the largest economy in Africa, high level political instability as experienced in the country has influenced a negative narrative in the growth of the economy, stiffening chances of spontaneous business growth.

In fact, Nigeria, according to analysts, has been notorious to be a space where about 75-80% of businesses are forced to close down barely 3 years into operations, courtesy of bad government policies, epileptic power supply, dearth in infrastructure and sometimes unsustainable business strategies.

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For a long time, the country has been a “popular-only” country where its famous international characteristics have not helped it gain substantial investments from the outside like what is now being witnessed.

While many of these challenges are still lurking around, the increasing build-up achieved in the tech space by tech players is, however, changing the story as more interests are being recorded daily from patronising investors.

This also reminds one of the recent $4million fund received by the Nigerian solar developer company, Daystar Power, from SundFunder, an international solar finance company to bring solar power and energy efficiency solutions for Nigerian businesses.

It’s, therefore, fascinating to see these Nigerian initiatives scaling despite odds,  to still earn global recognition after competing fiercely with similar ideas and enterprises that were opportune to build business in safer spaces.

Thank U Cash emergence as one of 29 finalists is another testimony to this remark. Although, on a broad scale, these figures might not completely be encouraging at the moment but there is hope that if this trend continues, Nigeria will reclaim its seemingly lost title as the “Giant of Africa.”

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Ridwan Adelaja

Ridwan Adelaja is a multimedia journalist with a special interest in business news analysis

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