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Did You Know? Lagos is One of the World’s Top 100 Startup Cities

Lagos is now one of the world’s top 100 startup cities. That’s according to a new report from StartupBlink, a body which maps the development of startups across the globe.

The report, covering the year 2018, shows that Nigeria’s largest commercial hub places in the top ten percentile of 1,000 cities. The bustling, sometimes raucous metropolis finds itself in good company on that end of the list, sitting pretty with such tech powerhouses as San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore.

In reality, Lagos just about makes it to the top 100; it’s perched near the cut-off point, in 99thh place. But that’s enough to earn it a couple of brag-worthy titles: the first African city to enter into the top 100, and (consequently) the highest ranking startup ecosystem on the continent.

StartupBlink says it worked with a number of well-known partners, including SimilarWeb and Crunchbase, to come up with the detailed report on startup scenes the world over. The reports represent their reading of the information they gathered from 50,000 spread over 100 countries. It shows which cities and countries are experiencing growth and development in their startup ecosystems, and which ones are lagging behind.

The scores and final places of the regions on the list are determined by their performance on three different metrics: the number of startups they are home to; the quality of the work being done by those startups and the work they do; and the ease with which business is done in those environments.     

As expected, cities from the first world stuff the upper end of the rankings. San Francisco sits comfortably at number one, thanks to the Silicon Valley complex. Boston, Tel Aviv, Berlin and Chicago complete the top five in that order. It’s also worth noting that of the first 100 cities, 29 are located in the US- a demonstration of the utter dominance that country has of the global startup phenomenon.

Besides having Lagos in the top ten percentile of startup ecosystems, Africa also contributes a plethora of encouraging numbers to the report. While the USA, UK, Canada, and Israel are the world’s top startup countries, a number of African countries have risen up the list quite rapidly. South Africa is in 51st place, Kenya is just one spot behind, and Nigeria is 56th. Egypt comes in at 60. Chasing these leading African countries is Rwanda, which has sped into 64th place.

On the broader list of 1,000 cities, Nigeria manages to muster three more distinct ecosystems. Abuja is ranked second in Nigeria and 383rdd in the world. Port Harcourt makes it to the rankings, as does Ikeja, which the report’s writers treat as a separate city.

African cities which appear in the first 250 (apart from Lagos) include Nairobi (105), Cape Town (157), Cairo (177), Tunis (223), and Kigali (232). Accra (244) and Johannesburg (248) complete the top eight for the continent.

Again, the USA dominates the wider list, contributing more than 400 cities- over 40% -of the 1,000 researched.

The report says that although Nigeria entered the startup scene later than some of the other leading African countries, it has managed to clear out a space for itself among that small group.  It points to Lagos’s ‘nurturing’ of Jumia, Africa’s first tech unicorn, as one of several signs of the promise that lies within Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. 

Featured image source: Voice of Nigeria

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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