Google has shown its dedication to African tech companies in the past through its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program. This time, it plans to assist 50 early-stage African founders through its Black Founders Fund.
The initiative which began last year will see twenty-six Nigerian tech Startups as beneficiaries of this year’s funding, more than half of the total participants.
The Black Founders fund, which covers a $5 million fund in the United States, a $2 million fund in Europe, will also cover a $3 million fund in Africa. This will help bridge the fundraising gap in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape.
The Nigerian companies that will benefit from this initiative are Babymigo, Bumpa, Chekkit, Credpal, Crop2Cash, Curacel, Emergency Response Africa, Formplus, Gerocare, Gradely, Gricd, Hitch, Lifestores Healthcare, mDoc Healthcare, Medsaf, My-Medicine, Pick Me Up, Reach, Send, Scheduled, Shopa, Tix Africa,Touch and Pay, TradeBuza, Treepz and Whispa Health
These are alongside other winners like Finplus, Amitruck, Akiba, and Bengali from the rest of the 13 African countries from which Google accepted applications.
With this new startup funding initiative, Google is offering some support that would help accelerate growth for early-stage black-founded startups that are benefiting the black community on the continent.
What Google is saying
According to the company, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund was created in response to the financial and cultural challenges that black founders regularly face. These problems have always existed but have been amplified by the pandemic realities of 2020.
The covid-19 hit from last year saw a lot of tech founders affected in more ways than one. Office closures kept employees apart, event cancellations prevented founders from connecting, and many resulted in the pivoting of their startups to keep the business afloat.
How will this funding work?
The $3 million Google fund is allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa through non-dilutive funding, meaning founders do not give up any ownership in their company in exchange for this funding.
Founders can use this funding to keep their doors open, pay their employees, and focus on how to build their businesses.
Google announced the funding eligibility criteria sometime in June and has now been able to make a list of 50 African startup companies who are going to participate in the Africa program, which starts on October 13th.
Each startup will receive either $50,000 or $100,000 in cash rewards, but this funding will vary according to the startup’s development stage, their current needs, and how much they were able to raise previously. Google strengthens Africa-wide programmes to keep internet users safe online
In addition to the cash rewards, the selected companies will also receive up to $220,000 in Google Ads grants, cloud credits, and support from experienced professionals at Google.
“There is a big gap in terms of access to finance,” said Nithin Gajria, Google’s managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa. Some organizations do not have as much financing as others. That’s something we’ve seen with black and female-founded businesses. And through the Black Founders Fund, we’re attempting to close that gap to some level.”