Next Wave: Incremental development

Hello everyone, let’s get a little individual.

Recently, I hung out in Warri— a city located in South-South Nigeria, noteworthy for being an oil center and popularizing the incredibly complex but remarkable Warri pidgin language My journey turned out to be an unexpectedly stressful event and by Sunday, I fell sick.

Now falling ill wasn’t a concern; the concern was that I ‘d fallen ill on a Sunday and my lodging lay in a small, however inhabited, neighborhood that didn’t have a pharmacy within strolling range. The mommy and pop stores that cluttered every street around the hotel didn’t open before twelve noon on Sundays.

As my people say: I remained in hot soup

The hotel concierge had to stroll a mile to purchase a pack of Panadol for me, and for the hotel’s First Aid box.

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But while I was waiting and fighting pains and pains, I could not help however wish I had access to a healthtech or telemedicine company that might provide the medication I need right to my hotel space. Or much better still, send a health care professional to run some tests and properly diagnose my symptoms.

My experience revealed 2 things: Nigeria needs more healthtech startups. And those start-ups require to have foot traffic in other cities and neighborhoods, outside Lagos and Abuja.

With a population of about 14 million people, Lagos is Nigeria’s busiest and most populated financial and business hub. The mega city also has growing tech hubs spread across varied neighborhoods.

So obviously you’re visiting a growing number of creators establishing their organization headquarters in Lagos. It makes service sense to penetrate a minimum of 1%of the most populous market in Nigeria.

But there’s a tendency for these creators to grow comfy in Lagos, or ultimately expand their companies into neighboring South-West states like Ekiti, Ogun, and Ondo.

Comparatively speaking, there are more Fintech start-ups than healthtech/telemedicine in Nigeria. And out of that small crop of healthtech start-ups, at least 50%of them were founded in Lagos, and are presently serving clients in the megacity.

It’s worth noting that a few of these start-ups serve customers in states outside their HQ location

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Of those Lagos headquartered health start-ups, only a little number of them are focused on providing medication and home-based tests to their users.

Even with over 2,000 registered private health centers and more than 200 public health centers in Lagos, there’s still a high percentage of underserved Lagos residents who can’t manage basic treatment. Those who can pay for a one-time healthcare facility go to would rather self medicate or purchase analgesics (panadol, ibuprofen, etc) from a street supplier, however they stand the danger of buying ended drugs.

It’s hard to neglect the need for telemedicine services in Lagos. However it’s likewise crucial to remind potential founders who wish to get into Nigeria’s health environment that communities outside Lagos likewise require attention.

For Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson, creator and CEO of Healthtracka, launching in Lagos was deliberate, however her group is likewise keen to expand into more Nigerian cities and marginalized communities.

” We’ve had a couple of people reach out to us from Abeokuta and Ibadan– they have a requirement for our services. They require tests done, but the closest healthcare facility is too far from them.” Ifeoluwa said over our Zoom call.

Healthtracka is a digital health platform that offers convenient at-home lab tests and supplies their users with easy-to-read outcomes.

” Among the important things about development in health care is that it needs to be incremental. We have to first construct confidence and rely on our prospective users. And building that trust will look different for people who reside in Lagos and individuals who live outside Lagos.”

Innovating incrementally requires healthtech founders to spend time immersing themselves in unknown markets and listening to the requirements of their future clients.

” Over the next one year, I hope Healthtracka can expand into other cities outside Lagos. I’m believing Abeokuta, Ibadan, and even Warri. Lagos is a development centre, so it’s good to start building here. Check your item in Lagos, and after that broaden into other communities using the lessons you have actually found out.”

So my challenge to emerging and potential healthtech founders is this: can you spread health and digital development outside the industrial walls of Lagos?

It could be argued that bigger commercial cities have greater acquiring power– and this argument is valid– however if development does not spread into the passages of smaller sized emerging cities, their buying power will not be strong enough to take part in the digital economy.

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In the middle of regulative crackdowns and overnight policy changes, Nigerian Fintech clients aren’t leaping ship or pulling their funds out of wealthtech and cost savings apps. (Michael Ajifowoke, TechCabal).

Instant loan apps are growing increasingly popular in Nigeria.

Ethiopia has plans to develop regional rivals to WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Zoom. (Daniel Adeyemi, TechCabal).

pawaPay raised $9 million in seed funding from MSA and Zagadat Capital, Mr Eazi’s financial investment firm. (Damilare Dosunmu, TechCabal).

Have an excellent week

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