Google has awarded fifty African startups equity-free funding and Google Ad Grants, courtesy of its US$3 million Black Founders Fund Africa, an initiative committed to racial equity.
In July, Disrupt Africa announced the US$3 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa as a means to balance the existing fundraising gap. The fund is targeted at early-stage black-owned startups.
Among the fifty funded African startups, twenty-seven of them are from Nigeria. They are Babymigo (e-health), Bumpa (retail-tech), Chekkit (e-health), CredPal (fintech), Crop2Cash (agri-tech), Curacel (fintech), Emergency Response Africa (e-health), Formplus (data collection), GeroCare (e-health), Gradely (ed-tech), Gricd (energy), Hitch (ed-tech), ImaliPay (fintech), Lifestores (e-health), mDoc (e-health), Medsaf (e-health), My-Medicine (e-health), Pickmeup (transport), Reach (fintech), Send (fintech), Shecluded (fintech), Shopa (retail-tech), Tix Africa (events), Touch and Pay (fintech), TradeBuza (fintech), Treepz (transport) and Whispa (e-health).
Speaking on how much the funding means to Shecluded, one of the selected Nigerian startups, Ifeoma Uddoh, founder and CEO said “At Shecluded, we are seeing firsthand the urgent need for women to easily access key financial growth services. We believe that an advanced technology platform will go a long way to improve our ability to reach and provide these important resources to more women across more regions/locations.”
“Our mission is to put more money in women’s hands and adopting more advanced technology will allow us to reach more women. We are super excited about this grant, as well as the mentorship and support that comes with it. We look forward to all the meaningful impact it will make for the women in our network,” Uddoh said.
Among the other African startups selected, eight are from Kenya – Amitruck (logistics), Angaza Elimu (ed-tech), AquaRech (agri-tech), Finplus (fintech), MarketForce (retail-tech), Pezesha (fintech), Raise (fintech) and WorkPay (HR) – and another six from South Africa: Akiba Digital (fintech), Khula! (agri-tech), Kudoti (waste management), Oyi (e-health), Pineapple (fintech) and Whoosh (fintech).
Three are from Ghana (Grow For Me, agri-tech; Tendo, retail-tech; WayaMoney, fintech), and two from Rwanda (AC Group, logistics; and Bongalo, travel). The list is completed by Senegalese logistics platform Paps, Cameroonian e-health startup Infiuss Health, Zambian fintech Lupiya, and Ethiopian home services platform Taskmoby.
“We are proud to have been selected for funding and support by Google’s Black Founders Fund. Finplus is building a new kind of credit and commerce infrastructure for emerging markets, which is incredibly ambitious work in largely uncharted territory. To succeed we must employ a creative mix of both old and new technologies in innovative ways,” said Finplus chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Kageni Wilson.
“A number of these enablers are Google technologies and beyond the funding, cloud and marketing resources we are receiving from Google, we look forward to collaborating closely with their talented creators to push the boundaries of what these technologies can do on the continent when applied in novel ways.”
Asides from the grant funding and Google Ad Grants, the 50 startups will also receive Cloud credits and support from experienced experts at Google. To distribute the funding, Google is working with Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), a leading tech community hub with presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.