By Omobayo Azeez
Digital communication giant, Google, has hosted its first Google Startup Week in Lagos, which saw Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa graduates, from across Africa, pitch for funding from some of Africa and the UK’s top venture capitalists (VCs).
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The programme also marked the completion and graduation of Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 4 which involved 12 teams of participants.
Already the Class 4’s startups have collectively raised $4.3m, created over 300 jobs and signed up over 110,000 users.
They collectively raised in excess of $600,000 before the programme, and have been able to use Launchpad Accelerator Africa to scale their businesses to new levels.
In partnership with Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google had aimed to connect high potential early stage startups with the dedicated support of Google for Startups UK to help them take their startup to the next level, the digital communication giant said.
According to Marta Krupinska, head of Google Startups, UK, “Every year, Africa’s economic growth continues to strengthen. Google for Startups has put its weight behind supporting the continent’s startups as they continue to build great products tackling key global social issues.”
She described this as an incredibly exciting space which is very relevant to UK ecosystem and investors.
Having completed their London Immersion, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 1, 2 and 3 alumni also met with investors from the UK and Africa during Google Startup Week in Lagos held recently to pitch for funding to take their businesses further.
Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 4, which comprised 12 startups from six countries, addressing six different sectors graduated last week as part of the Google Startup Week activities.
The programme also saw participants from all 4 classes get a chance to meet, engage with each other, and share their experiences for the first time.
“We believe Africans can solve Africa’s problems,” says the programme’s head of startup success and services, Fola Olatunji-David.
He continued: “In running Launchpad Accelerator Africa, we specifically look to work with startups that share this vision. Launchpad Class 4 is tackling some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, including access to financial services, education, and agriculture.”
Records show that since Launchpad Accelerator Africa was first announced in late 2017, the programme has worked with 47 startups on their growth journey, and these companies have raised millions of dollars in investments, and created hundreds of jobs across the continent.
The Class 4 startups teams that graduated at the last Google Startup Week Lagos are Afara Partners from Nigeria, BrandBook from South Africa, Elewa from Kenya, Eversend from Uganda, OZE from Ghana and Phenomenal Technologies from Zimbabwe.
Others are REACH from Nigeria, Sortd from South Africa, TradeBuza from Nigeria, Tulaa from Kenya, XEND from Nigeria and WorkPlay which is of Kenyan origin.