BY Ben Ebuka, 11:30am April 10, 2023,

How Nigerian tech guru Fope Davies earned $340k from building custom PCs

Photo credit: Biopreneur Nigeria

The pain of losing files to computer crashes led Fopefoluwa Davies to establish LifeMachines PC Build, a tech company that builds custom PCs.

While studying architecture at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) in Ondo State, Nigeria, he observed that just a small percentage of his coursemates had laptops with the right features and specifications that could meet the demands of class projects.

“So we’d have to queue to use people’s systems to do our work. Just imagine how that would be when you have a deadline or a defense coming up in a few days,” he said.

Sometime later, Fope turned the shortage of laptops in his class into a business opportunity – a side hustle of importing personal computers. According to him, half of what is required to import PCs into Nigeria came from his clients, most of whom were fellow architecture students and part-time designers.

As he continued importing PCs, he learned how to repair laptops via YouTube and started earning money from repairing faulty PCs.

He later realized the need to transition from consulting and importing PCs to building the device from scratch. “I realized that anybody can just sell laptops and anybody can source laptops, but I knew that was not going to be sustainable for me because I came from a design-oriented background where I design and build stuff,” he explained.

Post-graduation, he worked as an architect and continued with his laptop importation and PC maintenance business, but later founded LifeMachines PC Build.

Fope started his business by importing PC parts from different countries; according to him, building a PC is beyond knowing the positions of the components. The business needs a good supply chain because of the high cost of most computer components, and buying the wrong ones can affect the business.

Over the years, Fope developed a strong relationship with partners, who assisted him in coordinating the importation process.

In 2017, he interviewed for an architecture job at Baron Architecture, but was unsuccessful. Coincidentally, three months after the interview, Baron Architecture found the Instagram page of LifeMachinces PC Build and contacted them to order some PCs.

However, Fope advised Baron Architecture to build PCs instead, to which Baron agreed. Interestingly, the company he initially wanted to work with, paid him three million naira for four custom PCs, which was his highest PC supply contract at that time.

According to Techpoint Africa, Fope’s custom PCs have a base price of ₦ 1.2 million ($2,606) and sell as high as ₦6 million ($13,034). The high costs of the machines are due to the quality of the components he prefers to use.

“The smallest graphics card we use is the 12 gigabyte Nvidia RTX3060; it is what we start with and we don’t go below that. The graphics card alone costs over ₦500, 000,” Davies said.

Techpoint Africa reported that “in 2022, Davies and his team made ₦252 million (the equivalent of $340,540 then) from building and selling custom PCs.”

“We had very good numbers in 2022. Three years ago, when we started, we were still trying to convince people that you can actually have your PC built in Nigeria. But now, people have realized that they can depend on us.” the entrepreneur explained.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 10, 2023


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