Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Unveils 25 African Startups for 2023 Cohort
Google for Startups recently announced the names of African startups selected for its 2023 Black Founders Fund. The funding program selected 25 promising startups that would benefit from the $4 million earmarked for this year’s Black Founders Fund.
Now in its third year, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund aims to support Black founders by addressing the somewhat racial inequality in VC funding through the provision of equity-free grants and mentoring to early-stage Black-led high-impact businesses across Africa and other continents.
“If we want technology to work for everyone, it needs to be built by everyone. Black founders in Africa disproportionately lack access to the networks and capital needed to grow their businesses,” Google for Startups stated on its webpage.
“In 2020, with less than 0.5% of global venture capital (VC) funding going to Black-led startups, Google announced the Black Founders Fund and has since awarded more than $30 million to help Black-led startups in Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the United States to secure funding, strengthen communities, and create generational change,”
Each selected startup this year will receive up to US$150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, $200,000 in Google Credits, Google Ads support, and one-on-one mentoring from the Google team and industrial experts.
A quick look showed that Nigeria has the most startups (10) selected for the program, with Kenya (5) and South Africa (3) completing the top gainers. Ghana, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Senegal completed the list.
Interestingly, women-led or co-founded startups make up 72% of the selected businesses, underscoring one of the program’s objectives – lending more support to women and upholding bender inclusivity.
Below are the selected startups in alphabetical order:
Akoma Health (Nigeria): Tech platform for accessible, culturally conscious mental health services in Africa.
BezoMoney (Ghana): Digital banking for Africa’s underbanked via mobile/web platforms.
Chargel (Senegal): Digital trucking platform connecting shippers/carriers in Francophone West Africa.
Charis UAS (Rwanda): Provides 3D geospatial data via drone technology.
Evolve Credit (Nigeria): SaaS for digitizing and managing banking services.
Excel At Uni (South Africa): Supports student funders via digital services.
EzyAgric (Uganda): AI-powered mobile technology to enhance Africa’s farming sector.
Fez Delivery (Nigeria): Last-mile logistics platform for various industries.
Fleetsimplify (Kenya): Monetization platform connecting gig drivers & vehicle owners.
HealthDart (South Africa): Digital HMO providing end-to-end health services with insurance.
Herconomy (Nigeria): Female-focused fintech aiming to be Africa’s first women’s bank.
Jumba (Kenya): Improving Kenya’s construction sector supply chain via B2B platform.
MDaaS Global (Nigeria): Tech-powered diagnostic centers for affordable healthcare.
My Pocket Counsel (Nigeria): Legal tech platform for contract generation and management.
Orda (Nigeria): Pan-African neobank for restaurants offering cloud-based software.
Periculum (Nigeria): Data company aiding in credit assessment, fraud/churn risk.
Raenest (Nigeria): A fintech offering global financial services to freelancers/startups in Africa.
Ridelink (Uganda): E-logistics platform providing shipping and real-time tracking.
Susu (Côte d’Ivoire): Health platform providing healthcare services/insurance funded by Africans in the diaspora.
Talamus Health (Ghana): Tech solutions targeting healthcare inefficiencies in Africa.
TruQ (Nigeria): Streamlining mid-mile logistics across Africa with third-party vehicle connectivity.
Tushop (Kenya): Tech platform for group buying of daily essentials in Kenya.
Uzapoint (Kenya): Mobile/web POS for digitizing bookkeeping in Africa’s informal sector.
Zinacare (South Africa): Online platform for accessible, affordable healthcare services.
Zydii (Kenya): Localized digital training solutions for African SMEs.