50 African startups secure equity-free funding from Google

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Fifty African tech startups have been awarded equity-free funding by Google for Startups through its US$3 million Black Founders Fund Africa.

Disrupt Africa reported in July on the US$3 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, which is part of Google’s racial equity commitments announced in June 2020.

The fund supports early-stage black-founded startups on the continent in order to bridge the existing fundraising gap black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape. Aside 

Aside from the grant funding, the 50 selected startups also receive Google Ad Grants and Cloud credits, as well as support from experienced experts at Google. Google is working with Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), a leading tech community hub with presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, to distribute the funding to the selected companies across Africa. 

Twenty-seven of the funded startups are from Nigeria, namely 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).

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.”

“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,” said Ifeoma Uddoh, founder and CEO of Shecluded. 

“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.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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