Google has announced that 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa has been selected for the second cohort of Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa. The startups joining the programme will receive a total of $4 million in funding and support to enable them to scale up their ongoing work.
Each of the selected startups will receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them. They will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks and community building sessions. The 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
The grantees, made up of 50 percent women-led businesses, hail from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.
The top five countries with the most startups selected for the programme are Nigeria with 23 grantees, Kenya with 12 grantees, Rwanda with six grantees, South Africa with five grantees and Uganda with four grantees, Cameroon and Ghana have three grantees each, Ethiopia has two selected grantees, while Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each.
- NGX Group: Hedging against Black Knights
- NB Plc’s 2022 empowerment programme offering decent work, economic growth
- Africa and Climate Change – A Conversation with US Senator John Kerry…
- Microsoft strengthens affiliation with AfDB to accelerate youth…
- Vendease secures $30m Series A funding to transform food procurement…
Commenting on the programme, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s head of startup ecosystem, SSA, said Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow.
“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences. This is to help the grantees buffer the cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet,” Aiyegbusi said.
Aiyegbusi further expressed optimism that the Black Founders Fund program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.
Launched in April 2012, the Google for Startups programme has created over 4,600 jobs and raised more than $290m in funding. The 2022 edition is expected to introduce the grantees in Africa to Google’s products, connections, and best practices which will help the founders to level the playing field as they build better products and services that add value to the African economy.
“Programs like the Black Founders Fund enhance the African ecosystem – where we currently have gaps in funding and infrastructure. Google getting involved and throwing its might behind thriving entrepreneurs in Africa is a beautiful thing, and I am very happy that Google has continued the Black Founders Fund in Africa initiative in 2022,” said Adebakin Abimbola, an alumnus of the 2021 BFF programme and CEO, MyMedicines.
Funding for the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund will be distributed through Google’s implementation partner, CcHUB, and reinforces Google’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups in the region as a vital prerequisite to driving employment and growth on the continent.
Some of the 60 startups selected for the project include Agrikool, a South Africa-based agritech platform; Ajua, a Kenyan end-to-end operating system for SMEs; Awabah, a Nigerian digital pensions platform for Africa workforce; Cauri Money, a Senegalese cashless remittance platform, among a host of other startups.