Yes, the simplicity is why I think it’ll work in the first instance. Like one TechCabal commenter observed, the physical nature of the cleaning business has immense portents on its ability to scale. I am inclined to agree, perhaps Oluwadare might want to consider becoming an Uber for laundries once he knocks this first version out the park.

That’s one of the directions we could consider down the road. We are keeping our options open. If there’s one thing we understand well, it is that no business can be truly successful if it is unable to scale properly. The laundry/dry-cleaning business is not very big in Nigeria and it may be challenging to function like Uber. however, a few chains are in the works and could work out to become partners…if we don’t eventually buy them all out.

How did you meet him (Oluwadare)?

I meet with a lot of people through close friends, and family, mostly looking for investment. This one just happened to really suck me in and it made a lot of sense.

Ah, so he got a warm intro

Well, sort of. I wouldn’t say that works with me if you don’t have anything worthy of my time though. I do take time to hear everyone I can out. But I won’t waste your time if I’m not interested. If I remember correctly I first encountered Oluwadare at an event, and then subsequent meetings led us here.

Fantastic. I imagine there’s a beaten path to your door lined with people looking for funding (it’s going to get longer now).

Haha I shall hide more. Or route people to the front desk and setup a filter, LOL.

LOL, good luck with that. So what’s your take on the Nigerian/African tech space? I don’t want to pre-empt, but seeing as you just invested…

I see promise, and the fact that the west is still being very careful about investing in Africa, there is a window of opportunity for us as omo oniles.

LMAO at omo onile.

Africa is the next frontier, without a doubt. Anybody who misses the bus right now will regret it. The next Bill Gates, Zuckerbergs, are going to be from this generation, and they are likely to either be from Africa, or investors in Africa. The lack of proper infrastructure may seem a huge challenge but our understanding of the problems and our ability to provide solutions will see many of our peers in the tech space become billionaires in another decade or two. Well, maybe not “many”, but some.

Sim Shagaya, other Nigerian tech and internet CEOs at TechCabal Sessions

Sim Shagaya, other Nigerian tech and internet CEOs at TechCabal Sessions

Hmm. There’s the issue of internal/technical capacity to deliver. And not many have been able to access the amount of financial backing that people like Tayo Oviosu, Sim Shagaya or Jason Njoku have.

Technical capacity is the biggest issue, I agree. We need incubation and acceleration, but we need better quality education for the next generation. My philosophy is that a good idea will always find its way to money. All the guys you mentioned schooled abroad and speak the investment language.

Haha, oh well. Speaking of Jason Njoku, the online music business in Africa is one kind of jungle, no pun intended.

You’re kinda right. Our disregard for IP is a cultural issue. We have over time learned to tolerate stealing, always expect freebies, and our growing sense of entitlement is nothing short of ridiculous. Our cultures expects artists to give their works away for free, and we artists play into it, further feeding the monster.

Nobody wants to pay for content unless it is presented with an extra cool factor to validate our internal sense of big-boyism. When was the last time you downloaded a ringtone because you wanted to support the artist, or cos you liked the music? You did it to be cool to your friends. When it stops being cool, everything ends. #Sustainability = zero.

Our value system is upside down. It will take time to get that end of things working, re-orientation, re-education.


Those be fighting words. But the futurists would argue that while people (everywhere in the world) demand free content, the same new media/mediums that have unbundled the traditional business and distribution models of music are also presenting new opportunities for capturing value. Of course, those will take time to figure out. Not everyone can sell get Samsung to pre-buy their music for a device launch like JayZ.

So basically, we need to be more clever, lol. I have to agree. We need more innovative people. Or rather, we need to encourage more innovation.

Quite a few people have tried to do this African music streaming thing in the face of global competion touching down on local turf – we’ve written about this. Spinlet, iROKING…I don’t see you rushing to put your music online though

Streaming could work if the networks allow data-free streaming, and we are able to adopt the spotify/beats models. Truth be told, I lost interest in the music business because I saw most of the streams drying up right in front of my eyes. I am driven by sustainability.

That has been a recurring theme throughout our convo. So you were never approached with “crisp wads of note” from iROKING or Spinlet?

Excuse the pun, but it’s not “sustainable” income. I can take your $100k right now but if you don’t make bank, I’ll never get another $100k from you ever again. That summarizes the Iroko/Spinlet dilema.

I guess most of the artistes they signed figured, “hey, we’ll take the money now and keep hustling tomorrow, what have I got to lose?”

Maga don pay, lol.

Why do you think there have been so many record label vs artist situations in the last 3 years? Over saturation of content, buying steadily declining because of internet penetration, and no new streams opening up. So you spend more than you could ever possibly make…but the day the label refuses to continue to play maga…bam! artist goes to the blogs.

Less than 2% of our artists actually make money off music. It used to be about 7 to 10%. Top Nigerian artists grossed between $300k & $1m even as recently as 2009/2010. Now na mostly packaging, don’t believe the hype.


Celebrity investments are quite the thing in the valley, even if the savvy investors sometimes view them as cute mascots trying to get in on the actual game. But do you think this could be real thing here too? Especially in a culture where artistes are among the few and publicly visible role models for young people.

We don’t have a very strong investment culture as African entertainers. There are a few exceptions though, but it takes seeing a few people make tons of money before everyone begins to consider the viability of technology in the region. If Psquare was part of Paga or Don Jazzy was part of Konga, and he visibly elevated his wealth, it would surely spark more interest to other entertainers. Hopefully it could be eLDee.

(Don Jazzy is a mentor in 440NG’s accelerator programme).

LOL. And I have to get the stylised spelling right next time. Someone commented on Twitter and said they’d have thought this would have been more a BankyW thing than you, I found that hilarious.

Banky is considered to be highly exposed, which he is, so I’m not surprised. I don’t know that he has been active in tech though we’ve spoken about some possible solutions in the past.

Banky did do an prominent cameo on the “Maga No Need Pay” cybercrime awareness initiative in 2010. Thanks a lot for talking to TechCabal, eLDee.

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Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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