Earlier Wednesday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Google announced that 60 African startups have been selected for the second cohort of its Google for Startups Black Founders Fund.
However, 23 of the 60 are Nigerian companies.
Each of the selected startups will receive support in the form of a 6-month training programme that includes tailored workshops, community-building sessions and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them. The 60 startups will also get equity-free funding between $50,000 and $100,000, and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
“We’re proud that we were able to reach gender parity in this cohort,” Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa said. The grantees, made up of 50% women-led businesses, hail from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.
Launched in April 2012, the Google for Startups programme has created over 4,600 jobs through the startups it invested in, with the startups going on to raise more than $290 million in funding.
“We looked at three key factors when selecting startups: Product-market fit, startup-programme fit and founder potential,” Aiyegbusi said. “The companies we’ve selected are those that have found product-market fit, the programme must be beneficial to them beyond just the money and the founders must be people that have the potential to create enormous value.”
Tola Onayemi, CEO Norebase, one of the recipients of the Black Founders Fund shared that he’s most excited about the access to a network of other ambitious founders and resources.
“We got exposed to a wider range of Google tools and were given Google advert credit; these resources helped us scale our business,” Kemi Olawoye, CEO Babymigo said. Babymigo was a part of the first cohort of Black Founders Fund in 2021.
The fund, which is sector-agnostic, selected startups from a wide range of sectors including fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agritech, education, hospitality and smart cities.
The top five countries with the most startups selected for the program are Nigeria with twenty-three grantees, Kenya with twelve grantees, Rwanda with six grantees, South Africa with five grantees and Uganda with four grantees. Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each while Ethiopia has two selected grantees. Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund program 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 Africa’s economy.
Here’s the full list of 60 startups selected for the second cohort of the Google for startup black founders fund.