Tech Startups are Failing to See the New ‘Oil’

We are currently living in a startup economy and it is spreading fast across the African continent especially Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. Digital startups springing up here and there, being housed in incubators, are bubbling up an astonishing variety of products and services.

Yet, Africa as a continent, amidst the tech boom, has only one unicorn startup; Jumia. Valued at over a billion dollars, makes Jumia a superstar company that is dominating the African economy or startup economy by exploiting a growing gap in digital competencies. That’s all!




They simply narrowed in on proper analytics and market research, the oil many up-and-coming startups have failed to recognize. Whether you like it or yes, DATA IS THE NEW OIL, take it from me.

Startups that want to become companies or sustainable businesses must make sure they are making smart and guided decisions in order to be competitive. Keyword here: SMART ANALYTICS. Undertaking smart analytics of a startup brings to mind how innovative businesses are going to be, market target and capture, and most importantly whether they are going to survive in the next 20 or 30 years.

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You could try go around startup hubs and ask them questions related to analytics, trust me, of all the responses you’d get only 10% or less, having their analytics properly defined and out of these 1 or 2% are actually thinking of scaling their businesses globally.




Data gained from proper and smart analytics have proven to expose areas of huge opportunities and high risks. In addition to fierce competition and possible consolidation, many startups fail to take data seriously, especially when it comes to questions involving the industry they find themselves or the market that is being reached.

Do not wait for the startup to grow or boom before you start implementing data analytics. Understanding user behaviour or the potential of the market, as early as possible, prepares a startup for the next stage of higher growth. This breeds innovation and sustainability, and will save a startup from collapsing or going out of business.



Anker, an industry leader in mobile charging, using data analytics and implementation, scaled their portable chargers and became a success. They ventured into a market that was quite dormant, but backed with data and proper implementation the market for portable battery packs generated $360 million in the 12 months ending in March 2017 in the US alone. A majority of Anker’s sales come from cables and wall chargers, and it’s now moving into the smart home and auto market — anywhere a plug and a cable can solve a problem.

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Analytics and implementation are necessary keys to make a global breakthrough and keep in mind dotcom bubbles are a constant threat, the tech industry enjoys the benefit of data and smart analytics. Even though, there might be luck involved in startup stories, they are humble reasons why they succeed.

With that said, tech startups can avoid the many pitfalls of other industries thanks to advancements in data collection and the consequent ability to understand consumer behavior. Let’s make Africa great!

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