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Faith Nyasuguta 

Google for Startups has announced the selection of 25 African-based startups for this year’s $4 million Black Founders Fund.

Now in its third year, the fund seeks to help tackle systemic racial inequality in venture capital (VC) funding.

This is by providing equity-free grants and mentoring to early stage black-led, high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa.

The selected startups include Akoma Health (Nigeria), BezoMoney (Ghana), Chargel (Senegal), Charis UAS (Rwanda), Evolve Credit (Nigeria), and Excel At Uni (South Africa).

Others include EzyAgric (Uganda), Fez Delivery (Nigeria), Fleetsimplify (Kenya), HealthDart (South Africa), Herconomy (Nigeria), Jumba (Kenya) and MDaaS Global (Nigeria).

Others are My Pocket Counsel (Nigeria), Orda (Nigeria), Periculum (Nigeria), Raenest (Nigeria), Ridelink (Uganda), Susu (Côte d’Ivoire), Talamus Health (Ghana), TruQ (Nigeria), Tushop (Kenya), Uzapoint (Kenya), Zinacare (South Africa), Zydii (Kenya).

According to a presser by Google, the selected cohort of 40 startups from Europe and Africa, includes 25 African startups that embody the diverse entrepreneurial spirit across the continent.

Startups led or co-founded by women make up 72% of the group, highlighting the role women play in shaping Africa’s startup ecosystem,” the statement read in part.

The funding seeks to provide the businesses with the capital needed to take their ventures to the next level and expand to new markets, supercharging economic opportunities and job creation.

Early-stage investment is essential for the success of startups and the African startup ecosystem as a whole. This is crucial for Africa to become a global tech leader,” Google added.

With the significant decrease in African tech investment in 2023, the tech giant said, startups in Africa need funds to sustain their growth and develop innovative solutions for the continent.

“From accessible healthcare, to efficient logistics, to innovative fintech solutions, these startups are harnessing the power of technology to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges,” the company said.

“Tushop is reimagining retail with a group-buying platform in Kenya that encourages cost-saving and community engagement.”

Each selected startup will receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, Ad support, one-on-one mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within Google’s network.

Google head of startups ecosystem in Africa Folarin Aiyegbusi said startups play a major role in advancing the continent’s digital transformation.

“We look forward to working with this group of innovative founders who are using technology to solve some of the most pressing challenges in Africa. The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is committed to addressing the stark inequality in VC funding by providing Black founders with the resources and support they need to succeed,” Aiyegbusi said.

Tushop founder Cathy Chepkemboi said the support of Google for Startups is a step closer to realizing their goal of positively impacting the lives of millions of consumers in Kenya and beyond.

“At Tushop, our passion lies in leveraging technology to empower Kenyan consumers and increase their buying power. Our ultimate ambition is to transform the way daily essentials and FMCG products are accessed, enabling individuals to save significantly,” she said.

Since its inception, the Black Founders Fund has facilitated over $205 million in investor conversations, representing a 12-fold increase.

This has sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding $6.1 million, marking a 7% increase.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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