Startups We're Watching Out for in 2020

Xend Team at Google Africa's Launchpad Accelerator

This year, I’m expecting lots of new entrants, fundraising, breaking even and shop closures in the amazing world of startups where nothing is certain.

As a tech journalist, I’ve been fortunate to follow up on startups from launch to breaking even or shutting down and I get to celebrate or express sympathy with their founders. But from all of these ups, downs and WTFs, I’ve tried to make a list of startups and products created by teams and individuals around the South-South and South-East region that I think we should all lookout for this year.

Moving forward, which of these products or companies from the South-South and South-East region do you think has the brightest future ahead of them?
Our pick for 2020:


First on the list is Xend, a payment platform that allows individuals to send and receive money online and offline to their local bank accounts or Xend wallet. Xend is based in Enugu and just as we were telling 2019 goodbye, the startup was announced as part of the 12 startups selected for the fourth cohort of Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator program, the first-ever startup from the South-South and South-East region to make it.

Xend was founded in 2019, by Chima Abafor, Chibuike Aguene and Ugochukwu Aronu with aims to bring the unbanked and underbanked individuals on board to digital financial transactions. Also, it was one of the graduates of the season 2 of Binance Labs incubation program, receiving mentoring and $120,000 in equity funding from Binance Labs.

With solid funding from Google and Binance Labs fueling its growth, we’re super-hyped about Xend’s future.


Also based in Enugu, Arone makes autonomous drones for faster and cheaper delivery of goods like medical supplies from medical centres to where it’s needed within 15 minutes and we’re betting the aerial logistics startup is worth watching out for in 2020.

830 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications and over 1.6million women and children die every year in Africa due to untimely access to medical supply, the big plan to revolutionize delivery in Africa will see its founder, Emmanuel Ezenwere, drop out of school in 2018 to bridge the gap between rural and urban health care centres by setting up drone delivery stations at blood banks and medical supplies distribution centres to provide a faster delivery of vital medical products to neighbouring rural and urban clinics on demand.

An impressive list of success from Arone so far includes getting accepted into the MAN Impact Accelerator’s third batch of social entrepreneurship in Germany, a program that provides an indirect grant of up to $50,000 each for selected startups and the successful test flight of Arone HeavyLift I, a drone prototype expected to commence delivery soon.

Owerri Tech Bot

This bot, created by Emeto Winner, curates everything with the #OwerriTech. It’s a Twitter bot for tech communities in Imo State that retweets any tweet that has #OwerriTech.

This Product is one we think is worth watching out for because it serves as a directory for everything tech in Owerri. We’re sure in 2020, we’ll see the hashtag get used and publicised more often.

OwerriTech has the potential to make a cultural statement similar to the way the three wise men statue or the Eko bridge or the Danfo buses are being illustrated in design materials for activities or objects in Lagos or that originates from Lagos.

GreenAge Technologies

GreenAge was once the most funded startup in the South-East region until Xend showed up. But that doesn’t change its relevance as the first startup to receive funding from the South-South/East Angel Investors Network pegged at $20,000(N7,250,000) in march 2019.

Although funds skyrocket to a total of $60,000 after winning $15,000 from Genesys Tech Hub and raising an undisclosed amount from a private investor. These funding will be instrumental to GreenAge hitting it’s targets of scaling its production facility of inverters, solar panels and it’s yet to be released energy kits in 2020.

Testrogen Hub

Ebonyi State used to be known as a small state without an active tech community with a small population and barely makes headlines. But not anymore since the launch of Testrogen Innovation Hub in Abakaliki, the state’s capital.

With the opening of Testrogen Hub, there’s been an uptick in participation in tech in Ebonyi. They’ve been boot camps training on software development for individuals at all levels offered by its academy arm and improved efforts to increase women and young girl participation in STEM.

In 2020, we’re predicting tech communities and events like Google Developer Group, Facebook Developer Circle, Forloop or a design community would have chapters in Ebonyi State.

We’ll be keeping our ears glued to the ground for more news from Testrogen’s exciting ventures.

Do you know of any startup that might shake things up in 2020? Send us an email.

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