I’ve been brooding over this question for a while now. Why is there no crowdfunding for Nigerian startups?

Startups founders often gripe about how the scarcity of tech investors or a lack of “true Venture Capitalism” is stifling the growth of local startups. However, things are beginning to look up in that regard. The investors are there. Maybe not enough but it’s probably more a case of all startups not being equal, than it is of a lack of investors.

On the flip side, willing investors might argue that there are not enough interesting or “worthy” startups within the space. But that’s not entirely true either. It might be more of a problem of a lack of local discovery platforms,  than it is of a lack of good startups.

But startups should not always have to wait for investors that may never show up? The truth is there are so many startups and not all of them will be able to attract investor interest. Rather than focus on just one, or a couple of investors to give them their big break, maybe startups can start shifting focus to multiple investors by way of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding  platforms can play some sort of an arbitrary role. They can serve as a platform for startups to be discovered and for potential users, passionate about the product, to play a role in their success. It’s easy to say how much we love this startup or how that startup is great for the ecosystem. Maybe it’s time to start putting our money where our mouth is?

I don’t imagine it’s something difficult to achieve. We are already all familiar with crowdfunding, just not the western flavour of it. I have lost count of how many surgical operation campaigns have been successfully run on social media. #SaveDebbie readily comes to mind. In all of such campaigns, people didn’t mind making the trip to the bank to deposit their minute quota to the project. If such a crude implementation of crowdfunding can work, I imagine that crowdfunding for tech startups will work even better. The necessary technology and skills required to build a functional crowdfunding platform are readily available and payments will be handled online. It couldn’t be any easier.

So I’m still left asking, why is there no crowdfunding for Nigerian startups?

Photo Credit: Rocío Lara via Compfight cc

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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