E-commerce pioneers in Nigeria are struggling to prove the market’s viability

When Nigeria’s tech ecosystem started to form nearly a decade ago, e-commerce seemed to be the go-to tech idea for a startup.

Perhaps, more than anything else at the time, it captured the idea of an online business serving customers through technology. But recent trends suggest that reality was not rooted in economics and may now be going out of fashion.

In a high profile case last year, Konga, one of Nigeria’s pioneer e-commerce companies was soldlikely at a loss for its investors—after failing to match expectations despite pulling in over $70 million in investment since it was founded in 2012. Signs of Konga’s struggles first appeared in late 2017, when it slashed its staff strength by 60%.

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