In an industry first for the African tech hub community, Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) has acquired Kenya’s iHub for an undisclosed amount, creating one of the continent’s most impactful tech hubs.
“Bosun and I have known each other since the beginnings of the tech hub explosion across Africa, and we’ve always made sure that the CcHUB and iHub had a good relationship,” said Erik Hersman, founder of iHub, referring to CcHUB’s co-founder and CEO Bosun Tijani.
“A decade later, it’s exciting to see the evolution of the space, and to have two of the largest and most impactful hubs consolidate and provide an even larger target for the tech communities they represent, as well as the businesses, investors and media who work so closely inside the ecosystem.”
CcHub and iHub are among the most highly-respected tech hubs and startup accelerators on the African continent. Considered to be the leading technology innovation centre in Africa, CcHub has a community of over 14,000 people and offers support, mentoring and funding in its pre-incubation, incubation and acceleration programmes; over 120 early-stage ventures have been supported through CcHub’s incubation programme.
In 2016, CcHub made international headlines, as the centre hosted Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his trip to Nigeria. Zuckerberg’s trip was said to bring a “much-needed economic push” to the country.
“Here in Yaba, we’ve been working to build a tech ecosystem literally from scratch,” Tijani told TechCrunch in 2016. “For him to come here was a big validation for what we’ve been doing.”
Founded in 2010, iHub has offered business support services to 500 companies, over 100 of which have gone through its incubation and accelerator programmes. According to Nekesa J. Were, managing director for iHub, the tech hub’s portfolio businesses have established over 40,000 jobs throughout East Africa.
“The names will stay the same,” Tijani told TechCrunch in 2019. “iHub will remain iHub…it is a strong brand…but iHub will be supported from the central CcHub, which will help them strengthen what they do.”
As part of the acquisition, CcHUB will now make key hires in innovation consulting, community support, and people and programme management throughout both networks. iHub’s team become part of CcHUB’s wider central support and strategy network, as well as play a role in expanding CcHub’s investment scope in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.
“CcHUB’s mandate is to build a formidable innovation ecosystem with a deeply rooted network, cultivating strategic partnerships and practical industry know-how that can support entrepreneurs in building thoughtful, relevant and scalable solutions,” Tijani added in a press release.
“We believe we can only do this if we are intentional and proactive in how we scale and grow our reach, not only across Africa, but also internationally.”
Saad Sherida al-Kaabi