Please RT, my customer is on your timeline
Social commerce startups are finally doing fun stuff
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‘Japa’ is the word of the month
When I wrote about Nigeria’s terminal Japa wave in December 2021, I didn’t imagine that the situation could get worse, but here we are. This Nairametric article from Thursday is titled, “Mass resignation rocks Nigerian companies as Japa for better life spirals out of control.” The headline refers to the wave of resignations companies are reportedly dealing with as an army of mid to senior-level managers are leaving their jobs to start postgraduate degrees in the U.K. Many of these exits are not driven by a sudden love for education. With Canada’s express entry only resuming after months of backlogs, the U.K has become attractive again.
Last year, the number of U.K study visas issued to Nigerians increased by 357%, thanks to a policy that gives students 2-year extensions on their visas after completing their studies. So with U.K schools resuming in September, Nigerian companies are seeing a spike in resignations. Workers are serving out their one-month notice period just in time for resumption next month. It’ll be great to see some hard data about resignations and get a sense of what industries are getting hit the hardest. But for now, say a prayer for your friends in HR—-wait, I hear they’re japa-ing too.
That’s enough talk about japa, let’s get into today’s conversation.
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My customer is on your timeline….
Social media has become one big storefront. Every time I have a conversation about wanting an Xbox or I check the price of Birkenstock, I’m often bombarded with ads on Instagram. Yet, beyond those pesky little ads, spending so much time on Twitter and Instagram means you’ll eventually also be comfortable buying stuff online. I’ve found food vendors online and bought a bunch of clothes too without really thinking too much about it. Social commerce is what the business people are calling this stuff and there’s a big bet on how big it’ll become.
In Nigeria, we’ve seen companies like Flutterwave and Paystack ensure that when you think up a business–say selling wigs for instance–you can create a lite-ish website a.k.a storefront to display the wigs, slap prices on them and collect payment. Zero costs or fees for domain names, no web designing expertise needed and if you’re the kind of person who comes up with a business idea every day, you can create as many storefronts as you want. All companies like Paystack and Flutterwave want is to help you process the payment. It’s a killer business in an economy where there are millions of Small business owners.
Despite all of this, what most people still consider the real killer is when/if Meta platforms goes HAM with Whatsapp Pay—the service is already available in India and Brazil. It’s why it was interesting this week to read that a Nigerian startup that also allows you to sell online, Bumpa, now has an integration with Meta. Stay with me here. That integration means that you can get DMs from Instagram and Facebook on the Bumpa app and receive the payment from clients, thanks to another Paystack integration. And no, this is not an ad.
I found the announcement interesting mostly because not a lot of fun or curious things have come from companies during this whole social commerce era. The summary of most of the approaches seems to be digital storefronts and payments, but it feels like Bumpa did a thing here.
Another company that’s doing a thing in this space is PiggyVest. Although I can’t get over the weird name choice for the Pocket App (I keep calling it GetPocket in my head), the approach seems interesting. PiggyVest already has a ton of very very very loyal users and it’s not a wild inference that a lot of these users are small business owners. Pocket App feels like an attempt at creating an ecosystem; you can fund your Pocket app with PiggyVest and you can make a transfer to another Pocket account. Pretty neat stuff overall, and I’m here for all the neat little features they have tucked away in the app too.
Almost like clockwork, I also saw GTCO’s Squad in action this week with a publicised Taco Tuesday event. Quite a lot of influencers got on that one, and with some of the ads I’ve been seeing online, GTCO is also looking to get a slice of the payments and social commerce pie, although it’s not restricting itself to the online marketplace only. Yes, Squad wants you to set up shop online and collect payments, but it’s also happy to tell you all about all the other ways you can collect payments in your physical store.
In the end, your customer may be on my timeline, but which of these apps will win the competition to help you guide that customer to the finish line that is making payments?
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Nimbus is supporting pre-seed startups and women-owned businesses
Nimbus Media Ltd, a leading Nigerian out-of-home advertising service provider, has announced the return of its Nimbus Aid Project as the company celebrates ten years in business. The project is a corporate social responsibility effort in which the company gives back to the community by offering eligible startups and SMEs one month of free advertising on its digital advertising boards.
Through the Nimbus Aid Project, Ten businesses will receive a month of free exposure worth N2,000,000 each on Nimbus' digital screens as our way of supporting their growth.
ONE IMAGE THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION
What I’ve been reading:
TikTok and the Fall of the Social-Media Giants
The Tale of a Crypto Executive Who Wasn’t Who He Said He Was
VCs Squandered Billions On Scooter Startups. Markets Think They’re Worth A Pittance
The Crypto Collapse Has Flooded the Market With Rolex and Patek
Gorillas on track to raise $250m at reduced valuation
See you on Sunday!