Google Announce 60 Startups To Receive $4m Black Founders Fund

As part of its Black Founders Fund (BFF) in Africa program, Google has announced that 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa are set to receive $4 million in funding.

At the BFF unveiling of beneficiaries in Abuja on Tuesday, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Google Startups Ecosystem in Africa, the selected startups would receive $4 million in funding and support, to enable them to scale up their ongoing work.

According to him, each of the selected startups would receive a 6-month training program that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to them.

The Black Founders Fund program was launched in April 2012, it created over 4,600 jobs and raised more than $290 million in funding.

The program is designed in such a way that the grantees in Africa are introduced to Google’s products, connections, and best practices, to help the founders level the playing field as they build better products and services that add value to the African economy.

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

“The grantees, made up of 50% women-led businesses, hail from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, tech, education, hospitality, and smart cities.

“The top five countries with the most startups selected for the program are Nigeria, with twenty-three grantees; Kenya, with twelve grantees; Rwanda, with six grantees; South Africa, with five grantees and Uganda, with four grantees. Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each; Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each, while Ethiopia has two selected grantees.

“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity, but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the Black Founders Fund program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between ex-pat startups over local and black-led companies”, Ayegbusi said, adding that funding for Google for Startup Black Founders Fund would be distributed through Google’s implementation partner- CcHUB.

“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licenses.

“This is to help the grantees buffer the cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet”, he said.

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