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10 Nigerian dotcom start-ups that are dotgone
On March 15, 2010, the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the dotcom (.com) domain name. Twenty-five years ago, Symbolics was the first company to register the dotcom (.com) name. Afterwards, other companies such as Microsoft, etc followed suit.
Then came the dotcom bubble and finally when it burst, countless dotcom businesses ceased to exist. Others were absorbed into huge corporations, while some survived.
While I’m not sure about the first dotcom Nigerian business or company, there are some old and noteworthy dotcom (.com) domains that still exist such as Nigeria.com, OnlineNigeria.com, Nairaland.com, Ngex.com, MotherlandNigeria.com, Jidaw.com and NigeriaGalleria.com – basically providing business information and local content about Nigeria.
In this post, I’ll be looking at 10 Nigerian dotcom start-ups launched within the last 10 years that are dotgone – that is, they no longer exist or provide the services they were started for.
Tsarite.com
Afrizi.com
Igbadun.com
Rovestop.com
Ariaria.com
Advertfarm.com
Nairablogs.com
NigerianBloggers.com
Nubley.com
1. tSarite.com launched as a video-sharing tool like Youtube, where people can upload, share and view videos. The site integrated Facebook Connect which allowed users to sign in with their Facebook ID. The site also displayed mapped breaking news from different parts of the world as well as from Nigeria. tSarite was first released for testing on January 20th 2009 and my thought back then was that it could grow to become one of the hottest social (networks) utilities from Nigeria.
2. Afrizi.com was initially launched in 2007 as a city business guide before it was re-launched as a social networking site. The Alpha version was launched on the 4th of June, 2008. Afrizi attempted to connect Africans and friends of Africans within Africa and anywhere else in th e world.
Like other social networking sites, Afrizi provided basic services such as photo sharing, blogs, discussions etc
3. iGbadun.com (pronounced ee-gba-doon) was a Nigerian Online Community that strived to connect people all over the world. iGbadun.com allowed users to maintain their existing relationships by connecting with old friends as well as making new friends.
Like other social networking sites, iGbadun allowed users to share their photos, listen to music, talk in the ever-amusing and ever-controversial anonymous blog…and much more. The site had a music lounge that features the from newest songs to some old songs, from Fela to Lagbaja, from 2face to 9ice, and from Styl-plus to Faze.
According to co-founder, Adim Ofunne:
This was a social network for connecting Nigerians all around the world together. This site held 5,000+ members, where hundreds of messages and posts were created daily. This site was built from the ground up and maintained by Obilo Nwokogba and I. It was launched January 2006 but died in the summer of 2008 mainly due to lack of funding and numerous hacking attacks. This site no longer exists, maybe it will make a comeback someday.
4. RoveStop.com was a web 2.0 service that provided users access to local information on the go. The site allowed users to post latest gossips, upcoming events and classified ads as well as find the best businesses, even from their mobile phones.
Imagine a social networking service filled with gossips about the latest happenings in Lagos and its environs that allowed you to even post local info on the go. The idea of the site was to allow people to connect, share their local experiences in a fun and engagin g manner. Just like Twitter lets you tweet, RoveStop allowed users to gozzip, even via their mobile devices.
5. Ariaria.com (pronounced ah-ree-ah-riah) was a classifieds site that allowed people to find, organize and share local information for everyday living in Nigeria. Today, the domain name has been redirected to Gbogbo.com, which is owned by the same founders of Ariaria.
6. Advertfarm.com was a mobile content provider that helped businesses, organizations and institutions deliver their mobile contents to their targeted audience. They offered SMS marketing and loyalty programs, SMS Recruitment, Events Broadcasting, Sponsored Mobile Services, Referral campaigns
Targeted Mobile Advertisements.
Advertfarm provided advertisers with permission-based targeted marketing, which were delivered to subscribers based on specific interests and demographics.
7. Nairablogs.com was a blogging platform for Nigerians to create blogs for free. Powered by wordpress.org, this blogging platform allowed users to earn revenue using Google Adsense. When you created a blog, your domain name looked like this: www.username.nairablogs.com
There were 93 themes to choose from back then with plug in functionality for bloggers to activate and deactivate plug ins based on their taste. Although the homepage was created with the focus of having people signup for free to get a blog, on a Nigerian domain name, the plan was to eventually have a wordpress.com-ish community based feel with a sizeable amount of members, where users would be connected to each other in a network of Nigerian blogs.
8. NigerianBloggers.com was a blog aggregation site that provided blog feeds from Nigerian blogs. Launched around 2005, the site aggregated about 400 blogs, written by Nigerians at home and abroad from personal blogs t o business blogs (covering entrepreneurship, tech, gadgets, mobile, software, apps, etc). Some of the popular sites that registered on NigerianBloggers.com were Bella Naija, DeoluAkinyemi, Black Looks, NaijaEcash, Ladybrille, Ore’s Notes, Gbenga Sesan’s Oro and Timbuktu Chronicles.
9. Nubley.com is an aggregrate and online directory of Nigerian microbloggers. At Nubley you can pull in all your updates on different platforms and share them with the community on the service.
You can also send an update to one or more accounts on popular microblogging platforms like Twitter or Naijapulse via N ubley. However the best feature offered by Nubley is their public timeline, which aggregrates all of the feeds into one public stream.
10. ClassifiedsNigeria.com was a free classifieds site and Nigerian online marketplace where users could buy and sell items and goods from cars to clothing. The site had similar features with the UK’s Classifieds (classifieds.co.uk) site but had fewer categories compared to the UK’s site which has over 700 categories.

DotComCrash

On March 15, 2010, the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the dotcom (.com) domain name. Twenty-five years ago, Symbolics was the first company to register the dotcom (.com) name. Afterwards, other companies such as Microsoft, etc followed suit.

Then came the dotcom bubble and finally when it burst, countless dotcom businesses ceased to exist. Others were absorbed into huge corporations, while some survived.

While I’m not sure about the first dotcom Nigerian business or company, there are some old and noteworthy dotcom (.com) domains that still exist such as Nigeria.com, OnlineNigeria.com, Nairaland.com, Ngex.com, MotherlandNigeria.com, Jidaw.com and NigeriaGalleria.com – basically providing business information and local content about Nigeria.

In this post, I’ll be looking at 10 Nigerian dotcom start-ups launched within the last 10 years that are dotgone – that is, they no longer exist or provide the services they were started for.

tSarite.com launched as a video-sharing tool like Youtube, where people can upload, share and view videos. The site integrated Facebook Connect which allowed users to sign in with their Facebook ID. The site also displayed mapped breaking news from different parts of the world as well as from Nigeria. tSarite was first released for testing on January 20th 2009 and my thought back then was that it could grow to become one of the hottest social (networks) utilities from Nigeria.

Afrizi.com was initially launched in 2007 as a city business guide before it was re-launched as a social networking site. The Alpha version was launched on the 4th of June, 2008. Afrizi attempted to connect Africans and friends of Africans within Africa and anywhere else in th e world. Like other social networking sites, Afrizi provided basic services such as photo sharing, blogs, discussions etc

iGbadun.com (pronounced ee-gba-doon) was a Nigerian Online Community that strived to connect people all over the world. iGbadun.com allowed users to maintain their existing relationships by connecting with old friends as well as making new friends.

According to co-founder, Adim Ofunne:

This was a social network for connecting Nigerians all around the world together. This site held 5,000+ members, where hundreds of messages and posts were created daily. This site was built from the ground up and maintained by Obilo Nwokogba and I. It was launched January 2006 but died in the summer of 2008 mainly due to lack of funding and numerous hacking attacks. This site no longer exists, maybe it will make a comeback someday.

Like other social networking sites, iGbadun allowed users to share their photos, listen to music, talk in the ever-amusing and ever-controversial anonymous blog…and much more. The site had a music lounge that features the from newest songs to some old songs, from Fela to Lagbaja, from 2face to 9ice, and from Styl-plus to Faze.

RoveStop.com was a web 2.0 service that provided users access to local information on the go. The site allowed users to post latest gossips, upcoming events and classified ads as well as find the best businesses, even from their mobile phones.

Imagine a social networking service filled with gossips about the latest happenings in Lagos and its environs that allowed you to even post local info on the go. The idea of the site was to allow people to connect, share their local experiences in a fun and engagin g manner. Just like Twitter lets you tweet, RoveStop allowed users to gozzip, even via their mobile devices.

Ariaria.com (pronounced ah-ree-ah-riah) was a classifieds site that allowed people to find, organize and share local information for everyday living in Nigeria. Today, the domain name has been redirected to Gbogbo.com, which is owned by the founders of Ariaria.com

Advertfarm.com was a mobile content provider that helped businesses, organizations and institutions deliver their mobile contents to their targeted audience. They offered SMS marketing and loyalty programs, SMS Recruitment, Events Broadcasting, Sponsored Mobile Services, Referral campaigns and Targeted Mobile Advertisements. Advertfarm provided advertisers with permission-based targeted marketing, which were delivered to subscribers based on specific interests and demographics. Today, the site is longer accessible and the service longer available.

Nairablogs.com was a blogging platform for Nigerians to create blogs for free. Powered by wordpress.org, this blogging platform allowed users to earn revenue using Google Adsense. When you created a blog, your domain name looked like this: www.username.nairablogs.com

There were 93 themes to choose from back then with plug in functionality for bloggers to activate and deactivate plug ins based on their taste. Although the homepage was created with the focus of having people signup for free to get a blog, on a Nigerian domain name, the plan was to eventually have a wordpress.com-ish community based feel with a sizeable amount of members, where users would be connected to each other in a network of Nigerian blogs.

NigerianBloggers.com was a blog aggregation site that provided blog feeds from Nigerian blogs. Launched around 2005, the site aggregated about 400 blogs, written by Nigerians at home and abroad from personal blogs t o business blogs (covering entrepreneurship, tech, gadgets, mobile, software, apps, etc). Some of the popular sites that registered on NigerianBloggers.com were Bella Naija, DeoluAkinyemi, Black Looks, NaijaEcash, Ladybrille, Ore’s Notes, Gbenga Sesan’s Oro and Timbuktu Chronicles.

Nubley.com was an aggregation site and online directory of Nigerian micro-bloggers. Nubley allowed users to pull in all their updates from different platforms and share them with the community on the Nubley platform.  The service allowed users to send an update via Nubley to one or more accounts on popular microblogging platform, Twitter and Nigeria’s first microblogging service, Naijapulse.com.

ClassifiedsNigeria.com was a free classifieds site and Nigerian online marketplace where users could buy and sell items and goods from cars to clothing. The site had similar features with the UK’s Classifieds (classifieds.co.uk) site but had fewer categories compared to the UK’s site which has over 700 categories.

Image via: RobMillard.com

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11 Responses to 10 Nigerian dotcom start-ups that are dotgone

  1. PACE says:

    I think you should try to dig deep into the reasons for the failures of these dotcoms. People will be able to learn one or two things from the experiences of the founders.

  2. fabolude says:

    i completely agree.

  3. Darmie says:

    Lol. This start-ups were really interesting ones. I noticed that unmanaged ideas fade quickly!

  4. Codenature says:

    rovestop service was discontinued because of branding&fundin. We are indeed actively workin on relaunching an improved service under a new brand. The service will offer a web app, java phone app and blackberry app and essentially socialize local information.

  5. Nicely put… Watch out for Nigeria Bloggers Club

  6. ray says:

    Just put up a blog post on "Why we killed nubley". Here:http://blog.ngbot.com/4/Why-we-killed-nubley

    • Loy Okezie says:

      Ray – Thanks for dropping by. Read your post. How sad:( Glad you learned a very critical lesson from this experience – “launching on a good business model.”

      Watch out for my series of posts about how to build online and mobile startups using effective business models.

      Cheers!

  7. sam123 says:

    Good list loy, keep the work up. Try to dig for some more also, there are so many startups springing here and there.

    • sam123 says:

      I was meant to say that died down too. I am aware of some nigerian sites that were doing well and then disappeared all of a sudden.

  8. hmmm .. i found 10 Nigerian dotcom start-ups that are dotgone but i personally know iGbadun.com was a Nigerian Online Community that strived to connect people all over the world.

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