AFRICA – Sixty eligible, black-founded startups from across Africa have been selected for the second cohort of Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa, sharing US$4 million in funding and support to enable them to scale up their work.

The US$3 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa is part of Google’s racial equity commitments announced in June 2020.

Fifty founders were awarded equity-free funding last October, and for the second edition, Google announced it would increase its commitment with an additional US$1 million in funding, and support 10 more founders this year.

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 US$50,000 and US$100,000 and up to US$200,000 in Google Cloud credit.

Twenty-three of the selected grantees were from Nigeria, namely Awabah, Bookings Africa, Clafiya, Eden Life, Estate Intel, Flex Finance, Gamr, Haul 247, Healthtracka, HerVest, Kyshi, LifeBank, Norebase, OneHealth, Pivo, QShop, Scrapays, Shiip, Spleet, Stears TERAWORK, Topset Education, and Wellahealth.

Twelve are from Kenya, in the shape of Ajua, BuuPass, DohYangu, FlexPay, Keep IT Cool, Leja, Solutech, Synnefa, TIBU Health, TopUp Mama, Zanifu, and Zuri Health. Another six are from Rwanda, in the form of Bailport, BAG Innovation, Exuus, Kapsule, PesaChoice and Pindo.

Five are from South Africa – Agrikool, CreditAIs, Mapha, Rekisa, and Technovera – and four from Uganda – ClinicPesa, Easy Matatu, Eversend and Xente.

Cameroon (Bee, COVA, and Healthlane) and Ghana (Built, KUDIGO and Zuberi) each have three grantees each, Ethiopia has two (Garri Logistics and ZayRide), and Botswana (Brastorne) and Senegal (Cauri Money) have one selected startup each.

“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity, but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow,” said Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of the startup ecosystem for Sub-Saharan Africa at Google.

“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.”

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