Terminal joins Baobab Network to help African retailers take their business online

Published 25 August 2021
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What is Terminal?

Our latest portfolio company Terminal is an e-commerce platform that makes it easy for anyone in Africa to start an online business. Founded in Nigeria, Terminal has been enabling retailers in Africa to take their business online, and to the world. Terminal is an all-in-one platform facilitating website design and hosting, payments and shipping.

Meet the founders

Terminal was co-founded by 2 brothers from Lagos, Nnamdi and Udi.

(Left: Nnamdi, right: Udi, Terminal co-founders)

Nnamdi is passionate about tech and football, particularly Manchester United Football Club.

Udi is the artist, responsible for design at Terminal.

It seems that both the founders knew the fields they would end up in from a young age. For Udi, his drawing from youth became computer-aided design while Nnamdi’s always knew he would end up in the tech space.

The birth of Terminal

Initially, the brothers/co-founders ran a business in which they did web and graphic design for Lagos clientele. This morphed into Terminal, although they did both to keep the lights on and generate capital to launch and maintain Terminal.

“When we started building websites, we were just building websites. They didn’t really have a back-end and even when we began building that too, it seemed like we were repeating that process for every client- that’s where the idea for Terminal came from.” Said Udi.

“If you’re going to build a website for someone here in Africa, how do you allow them to take control of websites in the same way, manage in the same way that maybe someone in the US would without having to own accounts on a bunch of different platforms?” – and Terminal was born.

The Baobab Network Project Week Experience

The Baobab Network Project Week has now shifted from an on-the-ground experience to a virtual process, as we deal with the challenges of Covid-19, but the aim remains the same: get to know and grow Terminal.

The highs: The Baobab Network Project Week connects founders to world-class consultants and our venture partners who support the companies over a 2-year period. During the different sessions over the course of a week, we engage with the founder(s) on different aspects of their company including financials and customer personas.

“It has been a while since we’ve experienced that- other experts and peers look at Terminal and give us real strategies, real processes on how to understand your customer, how to reach your customer. It has been a huge learning experience for me.”, shared Udi.

“It felt like having additional co-founders in from a different background, so you know you’re not talking to people that are solely focused on product, but more about what you’ve done and getting it out there, which I think was perfect for Terminal at this stage,” Nnamdi added.

The lows: The early start times- it seems our newest founders are not used to early mornings and the 8 AM kick-off time for the sessions was (unanimously) their biggest challenge during project week!

What next for Team Terminal?

The co-founders have big dreams for Terminal, and some challenges are set during The Baobab Network Project Week.

“We hope to see a change in the culture of business within Africa in general, thanks to Terminal, where small business owners now have a chance to push their products to a global market; project themselves, market themselves to bigger audiences,” said Nnamdi.

A partnership begins

What would the Terminal founders tell other founders about the Baobab Network?

“Apply! The Baobab Network actually respond.” Nnamdi shares, “I applied to a lot of VC’s and accelerators and surprisingly, not many people respond to the online forms. That has been depressing. Secondly, I think the process was very straightforward, even going through the interviews, with Arthur and Wanjiku (our Ventures head and partner). All was clear.”

“I would highly recommend this to any early-stage start-up. It has been a pleasure working with the team- a group of humble, smart people with high emotional intelligence, appreciated that,” said Udi of the process.

A word to African founders

We asked our newest founders what they would like to say to build and creating solutions for Africa, and it was all positive:

Udi: Don’t give up!

Nnamdi: It can be so hard but keep going.

Udi: Remember why you started, and keep going, even when it gets hard.

Nnamdi: Don’t listen to every opinion people may have about your business. So many people will try and tell you how to do things, even though they would not do the same in your position. Focus on what you’re trying to solve and be persistent enough and be curious.

When building a company or a product, there are things that you’re not going to know. Accept that. I think we’re still in that position because there are some things that came up in those sessions [The Baobab Network Project Week] that I don’t really understand or know how we’re going to execute, but I know we’re going to do it. If you’re being curious and persistent, it’s probably the most important thing.

If you are building something great, someone else will recognize that.

Udi: Don’t take shortcuts. You will be tempted to take the “easy” way sometimes, but you have to tough it out.

Nnamdi: Oh, I had one more:  African founders, enough FinTech. We’ve solved FinTech. No more please, it is done!


Welcome aboard, Terminal- here’s to digitising retail in Africa!