Why it is okay for Nigerian startups to fail

by | Jul 4, 2017

“Nigerian startups don’t die, they fade away…”
— Victor Asemota

Victor Asemota, a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast recently expressed his curiosity over the whereabouts of a Nigerian startup — Autobox.

Autobox was an online spare parts delivery and car repair startup. From its inception, the startup achieved several milestones. It was among the top 3 startups at TechCabal BattleField 2014, got investments from the Lagos Angel Network in the same year, and was then accepted into CcHub’s incubation program in 2015.  In 2016, it partnered with Carmudi in a bid to improve service delivery. All these made Autobox seem promising.

However, it’s 2017 and Autobox is nowhere to be found. The company’s last tweet was in May 2016 and the website is currently unreachable. It’s puzzling that the team is hush, which begs a lot of questions. Could it be that the startup is facing challenges and the founder is trying not to make a public show of a supposedly failed project?

It’s common knowledge that the journey to grooming a successful business in Nigeria isn’t smooth. Sheriff Shittu, founder of Switch, failed with his online furniture startup — Showroom. However, instead of just shying away, and keeping silent, he summoned courage, faced his failure and highlighted all he learnt from it.

A bright side to failure

Nigerian startups -illustration

Half full or half empty?

I think we need a public “If you’ve failed before, raise your hand” to show that it’s actually ok, as long as you learn/are learning from it.” – Ezinma Okoli (in response to Asemota’s tweet).

Nigerian startups need to have a new perspective about failure. When founders fail, they should share their experiences and shortcomings, rather than chicken out. This way, people toeing the same line won’t make similar costly mistakes. Besides, many tech CEOs we celebrate today have had their fair share of failure.

If this is the case of Autobox, then an explanation is necessary, to prevent re-occurrence. This way, perspectives will be re-defined. However, it begins with how Nigerian startups see a half-glass of water.

Half-full or half-empty?


Techpoint is conducting a survey of tech worker salary satisfaction in Nigeria. Please take just three minutes to fill this anonymous form. Thank you.

Grace Akinosun
Grace Akinosun

Girl … with a pen. Content Creator.

Are you in tech and you are looking at getting a foreign remote job or you want to move abroad? Fill this form and you will get the BEST resources to help you get that high paying remote job as well as japa easily! WAGMI!

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Damilola Tobi Kolawole
Damilola Tobi Kolawole
4 years ago

Learning from the professional. A good article for every startup… Thanks Techpoint Nig.

Recent News

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses how Traction wants to stop fake alerts, Canza Finance’s journey, Esaal’s $1.7m seed round, and JABU’s $15m series A.

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

What do you think about an NFT project that wants to reclaim Africa’s lost artefacts? Well, the editorial team had some interesting thoughts, and you can listen to this and other stories on today’s episode of #TechpointAfricaPodcast.

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

On #TechpointDigest, we discuss how major players in the African mobility space can change the mobility narrative, FoondaMate’s $2 million funding, Twitter Create, and AMP’s $5.6 million seed round.

[PODCAST] Taxing calls to give you healthcare

[PODCAST] Taxing calls to give you healthcare

The Nigerian government wants to tax phone calls to provide better healthcare. In today’s edition of the #TechpointAfricaPodcast, we discuss possible implications and upsides to this.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Blockchain Explorer

Analysis oninnovation, regulations, and trends inthe blockchain sector, as it concerns Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap