[Lagos] – 21 June 2019 – The third Launchpad Accelerator Africa class graduated today in Lagos after three months of intensive reviews, mentorship, and re-engineering to accelerate these technology inclined start-ups businesses from different parts of Africa.
Part of a programme run by Google as part of its ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3 comprised 12 startups from six African countries – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – 58% of which have female co-founders.
All of the teams participating in Class 3 of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme have been trained in machine learning technologies and are implementing AI in their offerings as a result. “This,” says Launchpad Accelerator Africa, head of startup success and services, Fola Olatunji-David, “represents an alignment towards building AI-first startups powered by Google technology. The startups in this class have raised close to $9-million in funding, created more than 120 jobs and their products and services have over 270 000 users.”
“We know that Africa is awash with entrepreneurial potential,” he says. “If that potential is to be transformed into job creation, startups founded by those entrepreneurs need to grow. This programme is about giving them the best possible chance of achieving that growth.”
The graduating startups now form part of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s alumni along with the 23 startups from Classes 1 and 2 who between them have created 385 direct jobs and raised over $19-million before, during and after they participated in the programme.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” comments Olatunji-David. “We’re currently as a region creating about 3 million jobs per year while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives,” he adds.
Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 4 will kick off later this year, and see another 10-12 African startup complete the three-month acceleration programme. Applications for Class 4 open today – 21 June – and will be open until 26 July.
The 12 startups graduating today, in alphabetical order, are:
54Gene (Nigeria): Improves drug discovery by researching multiple genetically diverse African populations.
Data Integrated Limited (Kenya): Automates and digitises SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
Instadiet.me (Egypt): Connects patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians online to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight.
Kwara (Kenya): Provides a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
OkHi (Kenya): A physical addressing platform for emerging markets that is on a mission to enable the 4 billion without a physical address to “be included”.
PAPS (Senegal): A logistics startup with a strong client-care orientation, focused on last mile delivery in the domestic market that features live tracking, an intelligent address system and automatic dispatch.
ScholarX (Nigeria): An education startup that connects high potential students with funding opportunities to help them advance in their studies.
Swipe2pay (Uganda) – A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment.
Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya): The Tambua App turns a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
Voyc.ai (South Africa): Voyc.ai’s CX Research Platform helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, personas and customer journey maps.
WellaHealth (Nigeria): A pharmacy marketplace for affordable high-quality disease-care (such as malaria treatment) driven by artificial intelligence.
Zomila (formerly Zelda Learning) (South Africa): Provides free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and then links them to funding and study opportunities.