by Lekan Olanrewaju
Nigerian tech initiatives Truspot, Iroko Partners and Skoola have been included as part of a list by Memburn of what it describes as “brilliant African tech startups” by technology site Memeburn.
About the sites, they said:
Iroko Partners – Nigeria
One of the company’s most compelling new projects is called IrokoTV. Launched in December 2011, it allows its over 100 000 registered active users to view films from Nigeria’s film industry for free. Well, at least until June of this year, it’s not exactly clear what happens beyond that, but the company relies mainly on advertising revenue to support its business, having initially made a living through streaming full-length Nollywood movies on its YouTube channel..
Truspot – Nigeria
Remember when Apple announced its social network for music, Ping? Remember when Spotify initially rose to fame? TruSpot! has been doing all of that since 2006. The African social music platform and streaming service, utilises its strategic partnerships with African record labels and artists to bring a free African music and music video streaming service to listeners. Through Afritunes, TruSpot! also allows for digital music purchases.
Skoola – Nigeria
Skoola is an example of a forward looking bunch of people embracing the age-old adage that knowledge is power. The website is a powerful hub where students, scholars and educationists can study and interact. The most compelling aspect of Skoola is its mock tests. The startup has taken several years worth of West African standardised tests and converted them into online exam preparation tests and exercises. The exam prep tests can also be taken on a mobile phone.
Apart from the tests, users can focus on topics of interest by joining “classes” which are hubs where users can post on-topic questions or tutorials and converse via chat rooms.
According to Memeburn, the methodology behind this list of startups had “two simple directives.” First, the startup had to have African roots and secondly it had to be “brilliant.”
“More specifically, we were looking for that type of brilliance that exudes intelligence, talent, quality or simply, something fresh. Of course brilliance, like most things in life, is subjective, so we went into this journey with an open mind. Tabula rasa if you will and we hoped to recognise brilliance when we saw it. We did, over and over again.”
Other Nigerian startups included in the compilation are 3AL and Bioovue as well as Infomob. Waytag, Springleap and Snapt from South Africa, were also included in the list, as well as Dropifi from Ghana, and Kenyan startups Kasha, and Mocality.