The Nigerian tech ecosystem is getting deepened by the hour. New innovations are entering the scene. While most of them might not be too new outside of this market, it is instructive to note that many startup ideas are novel in our market given the status quo.
One of the most outstanding startups making waves in recent times is- TopCheck.com.ng. This site plans to give Nigerians easy access to credit and financial products that they do not really patronise in real life.
From a customer and user point of view, TopCheck is a platform for Nigerians (anyone above 18 years of age), to compare credit-based financial services and products from a whole range of service providers. The site offers insurance (life, motor vehicle, travel and health), personal loans, Internet services and various card products.
PageOne had an extensive chat with Akin Ogunbiyi, Sales Executive at TopCheck and his feedback was very encouraging. For a startup that launched over a year ago, TopCheck has been busy building a robust architecture for the sites, sealing deals with financial institution to convince them to list their products on the site. The company decided to tie all the loose ends before coming into the market with a marketing campaign.
“The challenge we had is that a lot of Nigerians do not trust online trading and or doing business online. So we are making sure we give them the confidence that they can trust us,” he said. From a business model point of view. TopCheck does not charge its customers anything to use platform in comparing and choosing what product and service provider they want to go with. Akin did not however disclose what they earn from service providers who end up completing and or fulfilling the transactions.
As to how TopCheck got its funding, the company is backed by seed investors from Germany and it would be making public details in the nearest future as events unfolds.
Founded by Thomas v. Pilarand and two other co-founders, TopCheck is already in South Africa. The company hopes to expand into other markets.
Part of what TopCheck would achieve is a veritable platform for financial service providers access to data on credit habit and preferences of Nigeria. Because of the huge numbers of applications TopCheck’s site will compile, banks and insurance companies can mine the data to develop newer credit products that can meet demands of customers. As Nigeria moves from a cash-based to a soft money and then a credit-based market, TopCheck and its competitors would have their hands full as they stand the chance of becoming the de facto sales agents for financial service providers, lenders and insurance companies.