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Chaste Inegbedion: From B2C to B2B – The Evolution of Nigeria’s Startup Ecosystem

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In the vibrant realm of Nigerian startups and the diaspora’s entrepreneurial spirit, a whirlwind of transformation is sweeping through. The stage that was once set for business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce adventures is now dramatically shifting towards a new sensation of business-to-business (B2B) startups. As we gear up for the grand finale of 2023, B2B startups are stealing the spotlight, catching the eye of investors, and giving us a sneak peek into the future of entrepreneurial wizardry in these dynamic markets.

The Startup Saga: From B2C to B2B

Nigeria’s startup journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Initially, it was all about B2C e-commerce startups striving to mimic Western concepts and securing funding from deep-pocketed U.S. investors. But the IPO aftermath left retail investors feeling a bit like they’d missed the bus, while venture capitalists revelled in their returns. This disparity set the stage for an intriguing evolution in the startup ecosystem.

Enter the B2B Revolution

Cue the dramatic entrance of the B2B startups in the second act of Nigeria’s startup saga. Unlike their B2C counterparts, B2B models tend to play it cool with their cash, aiming for rapid profitability. It’s like they’ve mastered the art of financial jujitsu, and investors are loving it. The perceived lower risk has drawn both daring entrepreneurs and savvy investors into the B2B arena, where the rewards are ripe for the picking.

The Enigma of Addressable Market Size

Now, here’s where the magic happens. The rise of B2B startup valuations can be attributed to the enigmatic concept of Addressable Market Size. It’s like the secret sauce investors crave. Nigerian startups have gone all in, deciphering the mysteries of their target markets and concocting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that hit the sweet spot. Especially those catering to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – from HRMS to CRM, ERP to accounting, sales automation to lead generation and logistics management. The sheer enormity of these markets and the real problems they solve have investors reaching deep into their pockets.

The Global Adventure

Fast-forward to the present and these B2B SaaS wonders aren’t just conquering domestic markets; they’re setting their sights on global domination. Nigerian startups like Simpu, with their omnichannel customer interaction solutions, have bagged eye-popping pre-seed funding to supercharge their growth. Meanwhile, Lusha, the B2B sales intelligence maestro, has strutted into unicorn territory with a dazzling $205 million Series B. Omnibiz, the Nigerian B2B e-commerce maestro connecting FMCG bigwigs to retailers, has raised a jaw-dropping $3 million seed round to embark on an epic quest to conquer new markets. And not to be outdone, Sabi, the B2B marketplace expert, recently pocketed a princely $6 million bridge round to fuel its expansion saga both within Nigeria and beyond.

Unicorn Spotting

Hold on to your hats, because the unicorn parade is in full swing. Flutterwave has just become Africa’s fourth startup to ascend to the mystical unicorn realm with a valuation soaring over $1 billion. They raised a staggering $170 million in a Series C round, proving once again that the unicorn hunt is still very much on.

Vesti Technologies: Bridging Boundaries and Breaking Barriers

Amidst the startup extravaganza, there’s one standout tale worth celebrating. Vesti Technologies Inc., in a stunning display of prowess, raised a cool $500,000 as part of a pre-seed funding round. Their mission? To fortify their product platform, expand their user base, and conquer the African market like true trailblazers.

But Vesti’s story doesn’t end there. They’ve set their sights on the vibrant market of Ghana, and their secret weapon is bespoke services that annihilate location barriers. With a mission to empower North America-bound startup founders and businesses, Vesti is turning the idea of crossing oceans into a stroll in the park. By facilitating access to new markets, they’re paving the way for entrepreneurs to unleash their innovations on a global stage.

The Conference Chronicles

As B2B startups gear up for the grand finale of 2023, they’re strapping on their conference boots for a high-stakes adventure. These events aren’t just about networking; they’re about leaving a trail of glittering breadcrumbs to attract investors and dazzle the crowds. Here’s your backstage pass to their conference playbook:

  • Research with pizzazz: Scout out conferences that vibe with your industry and the folks you want to impress. Look for events that have a track record of luring investors who can’t resist B2B magic.
  • Networking with Flair: Conferences aren’t just about shaking hands; they’re about striking gold. Polish up your elevator pitch and dive into conversations that matter.
  • Showtime, baby: Flaunt your B2B brilliance by shouting loud and clear what makes your solution shine. Paint a picture of how you’re here to slay specific pain points and rewrite the rulebook.
  • Stay in the know: Keep your finger on the industry’s pulse. Investors are like treasure hunters looking for startups that speak their language.
  • Pitch perfect: Craft a pitch that’s as spellbinding as a wizard’s spell. Your startup’s mission, vision, and potential should resonate like a catchy tune.

The B2B startup frenzy in Nigeria and the diaspora’s global adventures are evolving at warp speed, offering a front-row seat to an exhilarating show of growth and investment. By mastering the art of market dynamics, snagging those dreamy funding rounds, and nailing their conference performances, B2B startups are poised for a spectacular finish to 2023 and beyond. We are in for a  long ride in this startup journey.



Featured Image by Mikhail Nilov for Pexels

Chaste Inegbedion is the Chief Product Officer at, a passionate advocate for menstrual health, and a devoted husband. After earning a full scholarship to build his startup, he attended the Founder Institute in Silicon Valley, gaining valuable insights into entrepreneurship and business development. He further expanded his expertise by completing the Inclusive Product Management program at the University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business. Chaste's professional journey in the menstrual health sector is complemented by his commitment to supporting his wife and fostering an environment of understanding and openness. In recognition of his analytical approach and innovative ideas, he received the prestigious AmeriCorps Presidential Service Award in 2022. As the author of the enlightening book "Period Passport," he has provided essential menstrual health products, education, and policy advocacy to empower women, girls, and communities worldwide for over a decade. Chaste's impactful contributions have garnered international recognition. He has been honored with the African Community Achievement Award and the Manevia African Leadership Award for his social innovation. Known as Mr. Padman continues to push the #MenBuysPads campaign, demonstrating his tireless dedication to menstrual health, innovation, and advocacy. With extensive experience in project management, performance management, and social sector management, Chaste is a highly skilled and motivated individual. His involvement in various advocacy and philanthropic initiatives related to menstrual health, entrepreneurship, and women's empowerment further exemplifies his commitment to creating positive change.

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