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60 startups from Nigeria, Bostwana, others jostle for Google’s $4m funding

By Adeyemi Adepetun
09 September 2022   |   4:09 am
Technology Company, Google has selected 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa for its second Black Founders Fund (BFF) for the region.

A picture taken on April 15, 2022 in Moscow shows the US multinational technology and Internet-related services company Google’s logo on a tablet screen. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Technology Company, Google has selected 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa for its second Black Founders Fund (BFF) for the region. 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 per cent 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 program are Nigeria with 23 grantees, Kenya with 12 grantees, Rwanda with six grantees, South Africa with five grantees and Uganda with four grantees. Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each, Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each while Ethiopia has two selected grantees.

Head of Startup Ecosystem, SSA, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said: “Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the Black Founders Fund programme 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 $290 million in funding. The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund programme will 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.

Chief Executive Officer, MyMedicines and alumni of the 2021 BFF program, Abimbola Adebakin, said: “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.”

Funding for the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund will be distributed through Google’s implementation partner, CcHUB.

“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 added.