CEO and Founder Lesson, Konga and E-motion Advertising
Sim Shagaya is a media and technology entrepreneur from Nigeria. He is the founder and CEO of uLesson Education Limited, an app designed to make education more accessible to African learners. He is the founder and former CEO of Konga.com, one of West Africa’s largest e-commerce websites, as well as the founder of E-Motion Advertising, a leading out-of-home media company acquired by Loadstad Media in 2019.
Early Life and Education
Simdul Shagaya was born on April 2, 1976 in Nigeria to John Nazip Shagaya and Pauline Shagaya of Plateau State. He joined the Nigerian Army after graduating from the Nigerian Military School. He received the majority of his education in the United States. He graduated from George Washington University and received his Master of Engineering from Dartmouth College. In 2003, he also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sim previously worked as a banker in South Africa for Rand Merchant Bank before founding DealDey and Konga.com. He later relocated to Nigeria, where he became Google’s head of Africa before launching E-Motion, a Lagos-based billboard advertising company, in November 2005. Sim is a member of Plateau State’s Economic Advisory Council in Nigeria. He considers Hakeem Belo-Osagie to have had the “biggest impact” on his career.
Sim founded several websites, including Alarena, Jobclan, Gbogbo, and iNollyWood, before launching DealDey and Konga.com. DealDey was launched in March 2011 after he persuaded the board of directors of the billboard company he owned to invest in it. On July 3, 2012, he founded Konga.com, which began with 20 employees. Konga received a $3.5 million seed round from Investment AB Kinnevik shortly after its launch in 2012. The primary goal of Konga.com, according to Sim Shagaya, is to “aggregate the youngest and fastest-growing market that was dispersed, under-served, and that traditional retailer were simply failing to reach.”
However, the site began as a Lagos-only online retailer focusing on merchandise in the Baby, Beauty, and Personal Care categories. In December 2012, it expanded its reach to include all of Nigeria, and it gradually expanded merchandise categories throughout 2012 and 2013. Konga’s third-party retail platform was officially launched in the first half of 2014. And it changed its name from ‘Konga Mall’ to ‘Marketplace.’
In 2020, he launched the uLesson educational platform. Sim Shagaya’s latest venture, uLesson, is less concerned with money and more concerned with marks. It’s leaving its imprint.
Others had been here before uLesson, you might argue. This is where you put names like PrepClass and Tuteria, which are both cleverly conceived and executed concepts in their own right. Whereas the forerunners hinted at a possible revolution in African education, uLesson has now thrown open the floodgates.
In 2013, Sim won the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the CNBC/All Africa Business Leaders Award in West Africa. He was listed on Forbes’ list of “10 Most Powerful Men in Africa” in 2014.
He also won the Leadership CEO of the Year award at the 2014 Leadership Conference/Awards.
Sim shagaya is still estimated to have a net worth of over $100 million as no high-ranking report in 2022 has stated otherwise.