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Google for Startups (GfS) on Tuesday announced 10 Nigerian Startups and 15 other African-based startups selected for the 2023 $4million Black Founders Fund (BFF).

Head of Startups Ecosystem, Africa at Google, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said in a statement that each selected startup would receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards.

Aiyegbusi said that the Startups would also receive up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, Ad support, one on one mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within Google’s network.

He said that the BFF now in its third year aimed to help tackle systemic racial inequality in Venture Capital (VC) funding by providing equity-free grants.

He said that it also aimed at mentoring to early stage Black-led high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa.

“Startups play a major role in advancing Africa’s digital transformation, Google 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.

‘’The funding would 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,’’ he said.

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

He said that Startups led or co-founded by women made up 72 per cent of the group, highlighting the role women play in shaping Africa’s startup ecosystem.

According to him, early-stage investment is essential for the success of startups and the African startup ecosystem as a whole.

He noted that this was crucial for Africa to become a global tech leader.

Aiyegbusi said that with the significant decrease in African tech investment in 2023, startups in Africa needed funds to sustain their growth and develop innovative solutions for the continent.

He said from accessible healthcare to efficient logistics, to innovative fintech solutions, these startups were harnessing the power of technology to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges.

He said that HealthDart was elevating healthcare by providing comprehensive services and insurance through its digital platform.

Aiyegbusi said that Tushop was reimagining retail with a group-buying platform in Kenya that encouraged cost-saving and community engagement, while Herconmy was breaking new ground in the fintech sector with its goal to become Africa’s first women-focused bank.

He said that since its inception, the Black Founders Fund had facilitated over $205 million in investor conversations, representing a 12-fold increase.

He said that this had sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding $6.1 million, marking a seven per cent increase.

He, however, highlighted the list of Startups: Akoma Health, Nigeria; BezoMoney, Ghana; Chargel, Senegal;
Charis UAS Rwanda; Evolve Credit, Nigeria; Excel At Uni. South Africa; EzyAgric, Uganda; amongst others. (NAN)

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