If one thing can be said of Nigerian startups, it's that putting a figure to the number is an almost impossible task. The effect of this on the ecosystem remains to be seen. But it is safe to assume that it is a good thing.
Suffice to say that one space where you have a lot of startups is eCommerce. Providing solutions to eCommerce in Nigeria in their unique way are LockMyCash and SwitemShop.
With eCommerce on the rise in Nigeria and Africa at large, there is equally an urgent need to ensure the safety of online transactions. Acting as an escrow service, LockMyCash is a startup that claims to protect buyers and sellers from fraud during transactions.
LockMyCash acts as a trusted third party that collects and holds payments from a buyer and releases this payment to the seller when the buyer is satisfied.
How LockMyCash works
LockMyCash receives payment from a prospective buyer, notifies the seller about such payment and asks the seller to deliver the item. Upon delivery, the buyer inspects the item (this is particularly subject to agreement) to ascertain whether it is as described by the seller. If the buyer finds the good in satisfactory condition, LockMyCash goes ahead to pay the seller. In the event that the buyer is not satisfied with the product, LockMyCash claims to reimburse the buyer.
For every transaction, LockMyCash charges a fee, which is a minimum of ₦200 and a maximum of ₦5000. The startup launched on the 8th of February, 2016
Switemshop is a startup that is helping users builds self-created and customised online shops/website where they can sell and promote their goods.
Be the smartest in the room
With a core value to remove barriers that make starting a business difficult due to entry costs and lack of technical know-how, SwitemShop claims to provide a scalable, robust and managed eCommerce platform with a personal touch and at a low cost.
As little as ₦1000 per month, users can build and maintain an online store. On the technical side, SwitemShop provides technical infrastructure, website security and includes an easy-to-use website builder requiring no design or programming skills.
Other features include: a blogging platform, SEO tools, Live chat, fraud detection, abandoned cart recovery, 24/7 automated instructor/guide, mobile-friendly themes, multiple payment options etc.
"These features help users bypass the high entry cost barrier of purchasing or hiring technology experts to build and manage an online presence," Catherine Egwali, Co-founder, says
SwitemShop is a subsidiary of Switem Technology Solutions -- a web design and technology solutions company that offer services such as domains, hosting, eCommerce solutions, website design, digital marketing and IT Support.
The platform launched on the 1st of September, 2016.