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Google picks 25 African start-ups for Black Founders Fund

By , ITWeb
Africa , 21 Jun 2023
The founders of the 25 African start-ups set to receive $4 million from the Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund.
The founders of the 25 African start-ups set to receive $4 million from the Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund.

Google has selected 25 African-based start-ups for this year’s $4 million Black Founders Fund.

The Black Founders Fund, now in its third year, aims to help tackle systemic racial inequality in venture capital funding by providing equity-free grants and mentoring early-stage black-led high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa.

This year, the selected cohort of 40 start-ups from Europe and Africa, includes 25 African start-ups.

Start-ups led or co-founded by women make up 72% of the African group, highlighting the role women play in shaping Africa's startup ecosystem, says Google.

Each selected start-up will receive up to $150,000 in cash awards, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, advertising support, mentoring by industry experts and connections within the Google network.

“The funding will 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,” says Google.

It adds: “Early-stage investment is essential for the success of start-ups and the African start-up ecosystem as a whole. This is crucial for Africa to become a global tech leader. With the significant decrease in African tech investment in 2023, start-ups in Africa need funds to sustain their growth and develop innovative solutions for the continent.”

The selected start-ups range from healthcare to efficient logistics, to innovative fintech solutions. Google says these start-ups are harnessing the power of technology to address pressing challenges.

Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of start-ups ecosystem, Africa at Google, says: "Start-ups play a major role in advancing Africa’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 Start-ups Black Founders Fund is committed to addressing the stark inequality in venture capital funding by providing black founders with the resources and support they need to succeed."

Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti, the founder of Herconomy, selected for the 2023 Fund, comments: “With the funding and support provided by the programme, we will expedite the development of our innovative solutions, enhance support for our valued customers, and expand our presence on an international scale."

Herconomy is breaking new ground in the fintech sector with its goal to become Africa's first women-focused bank.

Likewise, Njabulo Skhosana, the founder of HealthDart, selected for the 2023 fund, says: “With the support of Google for Startups, we are poised to further enhance our platform, enabling more individuals to find the most cost-effective and efficient healthcare options."

HealthDart provides comprehensive healthcare services and insurance through its digital platform.

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