Five ventures in Kenya are among 25 African-based startups which have been selected to join the Ksh 55.6 billion ($4m) Black Founders Fund by Google for Startups (GFS).
The third cohort from Africa will be among 40 startups selected from Africa and Europe to join the fund which targets to address systemic racial inequality in venture capital (VC) funding by providing equity-free grants and mentoring to early stage black-led high-growth businesses.
Startups led or co-founded by women make up 72 percent of the group, highlighting the role women play in shaping Africa’s startup ecosystem.
The fund aims to 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.
Google Head of Startups Ecosystem in Africa said Startups 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 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,” said Aiyegbusi.
The Kenyans startups who stand to benefit from Black Founders Fund by accessing funding to help them scale and expand to new markets include Uzapoint, a web-based point of sale startups which helps digitize bookkeeping in the informal sector.
Jumba which has developed a business-to-business platform for construction sector and Tushop which is an e-commerce platform for group buying of daily essentials in Kenya.
Others from Kenya include Zydii which has localised digital training solutions for African small and medium enterprises and Fleetsimplify which connects gig drivers to vehicle owners.
Nigeria lead the team of selected startups with 10 entries, South Africa 3, Ghana 2, Uganda 2 and Senegal , Rwanda and Cote d’Ivore with one each.
Each selected startup will receive up to Ksh 20.9 million ($150,000) in non-dilutive cash awards, up to Ksh 27.8 million ($200,000) in Google Cloud credits, ad support, mentoring by industry experts and connections within Google’s network.
Since its inception, the Black Founders Fund has facilitated over Ksh 28.5 billion ($205m) in investor conversations.
Google says this has sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding Ksh 847.9 million ($6.1 million) a 7pc increase.