Nigeria’s Startup Using Artificial Intelligence To Redefine Marketing Ecosystem In Africa

Technology startups in Africa are getting fostered to have a rebound from the pandemic hiatus to leverage on the internet to ace businesses online. Among these tech start-ups ensuring that businesses easily transit to the new normal is Balogun Oluwabunmi, co-founder of Skyfire Digital.

Balogun, who cofounded the business with Adeshina Adewumi is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to power the county’s marketing landscape.

He and his co-founder were inspired to establish Skyfire Digital in August 2020 to redefine the digital marketing landscape in Nigeria at a time when the pandemic was pushing millions of Nigerian businesses to the brink.

“The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted a lot of physical activities and because of that, we saw more businesses paying attention to their digital presence which was creating an opportunity for us,” he says.

“Looking at the power of the digital space, we realized one of the major needs in this space was the need to start becoming more specific with digital strategies,” Balogun says.

“We noticed how much data has become a large and major part of our lives and how a lot of the digital brands especially in this part of the world were failing to have targeted digital plans for their clients. To change this, we were inspired to establish Skyfire Digital,” he adds.

Similarly, he says the need for Skyfire parent company to be strategic with a digital presence also inspired the establishment of the business.

The physicist-turned-entrepreneur notes that the business which started small in August 2020 has secured about $15,000 funding from venture capital financing organizations such as Aptive Capital.

Similarly, the business recently acquires a PR firm for an undisclosed amount. The business has been spotlighted in Japan as one of the next big start-ups they are watching in Nigeria.

Since its inception, the business has grown steadily as its client base has increased consistently. Skyfire Digital currently has four full-time employees aside from its board.

To ensure that the business survived the difficult moment of the pandemic, the young entrepreneur and his co-founder resorted to develop an effective digital strategy that has help them scale.

“One of the most important things for us has been to fix communication with our clients. Effective communication continues to foster growth for us as a business,” he says.

“We have also evaluated our marketing strategies. The world is online, a global village and we know the best form of strategies will be us playing with this online space effectively,” he explains.

He says his business plans to launch a product in the short run called Track IT, which according to him will be a big disrupter in the digital space.

Speaking on the challenges confronting the business, he says explaining to businesses the importance of proper project management is quite frustrating, noting that most of them just want to do everything in the space without effective planning.

“Trying to explain to business owners the importance of proper project management is a major challenge for us as a business,” he says.

“Lots of businesses just want to do everything in the digital space without proper planning,” he further says.

Balogun calls on the government to create more centres for entrepreneurial training.

He urges the government to provide adequate access to loans, grants, and support for small businesses in the country.

In evaluating the country’s digital market space, the young entrepreneur says it is fast evolving.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says, “As entrepreneurs, that sense of drive and ownership has to be visible. That alone is a force that moves you.”

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