Nigeria leads with Twenty-three (23) companies on a list of 60 African Start-ups Google announced as eligible for its $4million (dollars) funding to eto nable them scale up their respective operations.
The American multinational technology company that focuses on search engine technology, tags the programme “Google Black Founders Fund” (BFF) for startups in Africa. The programme is the second phase of the global tech giant’s funding for African startups.
Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem, Folarin Aiyegbusi said the startups will also receive ongoing hands-on business and technical mentorship from Google’s network of mentors and facilitators.
Nigerian startups make up a third of the 2022 cohort and constituted half of last year’s from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Botswana were also funded.
He said: “Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunities, 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.”
“Each of the selected startups would receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges,’’ Aiyegbusi said.
According to him, the startups will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks and community-building sessions.
Aiyegbusi said that the 60 grantees would also get non-dilutive awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
He said that grantees, made up of 50 percent women-led businesses, hailed from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.
According to Aiyegbusi, the startups specialised in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.
He listed the top five countries with the most startups selected for the programme as Nigeria with 23 grantees, Kenya with 12 grantees, and Rwanda with six grantees.
Aiyegbusi said that South Africa had five grantees and Uganda had four grantees.
He said, Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each, Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each while Ethiopia has two selected grantees.
Aiyegbusi said that the Google for Startups programme, which was launched in April 2012, had created over 4,600 jobs and raised more than $290 million dollars in funding.
He added that the programme would introduce the grantees in Africa to Google’s products, connections, and best practices.