There is no doubt that Nigeria’s technology ecosystem had a busy 2017. An estimated $70 billion had been invested in information and communication related business before the end of the year.

Many Nigerian startups attracted investment, some seed capital, while some others attracted other rounds of investment.

Others, despite raising no round of finance, made quite impressive inroads into their chosen market. Undoubtedly, some new ones will take this year by storm, while others will seek to dominate the headlines through their disruptive models.

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Here are 4 startups that made significant incursion into the startup scene in 2017 and may likely continue in 2018.

1. Piggybank.ng:

Nigeria’s financial services sector is one of the sectors that has borne the brunt of major technological disruptions that is spreading across the world.

It appears FinTech, as financial technologies have come to be known, continues to evolve. Just when one thinks the last innovation has been seen, another, even more disruptive arrives.

That was the case with Piggybank. The online savings scheme launched in 2015 to help people imbibe savings culture by making periodic deductions from user’s bank accounts. The response was quick as it was impressive.

Piggybank released its 2017 report on Monday and said it grew by “over 3,000% in 2017 compared to 2016 (with minimal marketing)”.

Piggybank also launched a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices and introduced a few other features. But the interesting part was the revenue figures for the year.

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In the report emailed to its users, Piggybank said aggregate savings on the platform were a little below one billion naira in 2017 alone.

It also announced that it “recently just acquired a huge part of a fully functional and Licensed Micro-Finance Bank in Nigeria to enhance our operations and expand rapidly in 2018”.

For achieving this feat and projecting 50% growth this 2018, we place Piggybank on top of startups to watch this year

2. Flutterwave:

Money they say, makes the world go around. It is one thing every human being alive cannot do without. So, it is not entirely surprising that FinTech solutions are leading the pack in the startup ecosystem.

Flutterwave is a digital payment technology that provides end-­to­-end payments technology and infrastructure that enables payment service providers, global merchants, licensed money transfer operators and Pan­-African banks to process payments across all available payments options in Africa.

Founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the former co-founder of Andela, Flutterwave raised over $10 million in a Series A round of funding in July 2017.

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In 2017, Flutterwave said it recorded zero transaction failures with some of its merchants while serving hundreds of clients within just two years of launch.

We expect Flutterwave to become a more common name in 2018, especially because of its goals for zero transaction failures and promise of a reliable payment infrastructure.

3. Cars45:

At a time when most Nigerians were only thinking of selling cars using technology, Cars45 launched to buy only Nigerian used cars.

Cars45 launched in Nigeria in August 2016, and has since bought thousands of Nigerian-used cars and conducted thousands of inspections.

Led by Etop Ikpe, former Chief Executive at Dealdey Nigeria, Cars45 closed a $5 million round in May 2017.

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Cars45 continues to seek ways of disrupting Nigeria’s used car market and creating a new and thriving auto market in Nigeria. In 2017, it launched massive marketing campaign and introduced some services like the auto trade-in. Cars45 is indeed a startup to watch within this year.

4. FarmCrowdy:

FarmCrowdy wants to make farming sexy. Using technology, FarmCrowdy wants to make the millennials with so much disposal income, participate in agriculture by investing their money only.

FarmCrowdy was launched in September 2016 by Onyeka Akuma, a former co-founder and CEO of Travelbeta, an online travel agency.

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By December, FarmCrowdy had raised one million dollars in funding and is set to transform how people perceive agriculture.

FarmCrowdy, is not only innovative but comes at a critical time when Nigeria needs to rethink its approach to agriculture financing. It is a startup to watch in 2018.

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