We are excited to announce the graduation of the very first venture, BudgIT, from our incubation programme.
Founders: Seun Onigbinde; Joseph Agunbiade || Launched: 2011 || Name: BudgIT || Sector: Governance || CcHub Programmes Attended: Tech-In Gov; Pre-incubation (Sept 2011 – June 2013); Incubation (July 2013 – December 2014)
THE EARLY DAYS
BudgIT’s exciting journey started in 2011 at CcHUB’s first Tech-In Governance competition when an open call was made for Nigerians to submit creative ideas that had potential to transform citizen participation in governance. At the time Seun Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, worked as a strategy analyst at First Bank Nigeria. He made a last minute decision to enter the competition with an idea to transform public sector data, especially the budget, to a more engaging format. Seun met and was paired with Joseph Agunbiade, his co-founder at the competition.
After a brief pause following the Tech-in Gov competition, Seun and Joseph set to work on the first iteration of the platform to showcase at CcHUB’s launch in September 2011. Seun recalls that “It was a funny black website with just 3 circles and a bit shameful, but we were encouraged by the CcHUB team that it was good enough to start”. BudgIT joined CcHUB’s pre-incubation programme and officially launched in September 2011, with a press launch set up for them by CcHUB.
SEIZING A KEY MOMENT: #OCCUPYNIGERIA
BudgIT’s growth skyrocketed during the Occupy Nigeria movement in January 2012. It was a time that saw Nigerians interested in government spending. It was a key opportunity that BudgIT seized by creating the “Budget cut” app.According to Seun, the CcHUB community played a big role in the app’s creation, “We leveraged on the CcHub community because we did not have a tech team to build the app”, says Seun. The app attracted 4,000 users in 60hrs and BudgIT’s followership grew in large numbers within a short time. They became the fact checker of Nigeria’s budget on social media and the success of the app remains one of BudgIT’s key achievements.
KEY GROWTH FIGURES
In the course of its three years of operation:
The BudgIT website recorded 1 million hits with over 250,000 unique visitors in 2014.
More than 4,000 data requests from online visitors were processed in 2014.
BudgIT has gone on to raise over $500,000 from various foundations/organizations such as Indigo Trust, OSIWA, MacArthur foundation, U.S State Department amongst others. It recently received a $400,000 investment from Omidyar Network.
Staff numbers have increased, from the original 2 co-founders, to fourteen (14) as at December 2014. In addition, an Advisory board has been set up consisting of six members including Bosun Tijani (Co-founder, CcHUB).
BudgIT is now independently located on the 3rd Floor, 13 Hughes Street, Alagomeji Junction, Yaba, Lagos. Looking into the future, Seun has a number of interesting plans, one of which is to expand from budget access to tracking through the recently launched Tracka.ng. “I realized it was a value change structure because if you can access the budget but can’t track it, it defeats action at a particular point”, says Seun. Tracka.ng is a network of active citizens who collaborate, track projects in the budget and give feedback to the government and their communities.
With growth comes responsibility and we believe that the BudgIT team is now more than able to keep growing beyond the support services and facilities offered at CcHUB. Congratulations BudgIT!!