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Google Selects 60 African Startups for Equity Free $4m Funding

Google select 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa for its second cohort of Google for startups Black Founders Fund

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American multinational company, Google has been on a mission in offering support to thriving diverse, and inclusive startup communities around the world.

Recently, the company announced the selection of 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa for its second cohort of Google for startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa.

The startups joining the program will receive a total of $4 million in equity-free funding and support to enable them to scale up their ongoing project.

They will also receive support in the form of a 6-month training program that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them. 

The selected startups will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks, and community-building sessions.

The 60 grantees will get non-dilutive funding between $50,000 and $100,000, and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit. 

It is interesting to note that 50% of women-led businesses made up part of guarantees as they hail from countries such as Botswana,  Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda.

These women-led businesses specialize in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality, and smart cities.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Nigeria is among the top five countries with the most startups selected for the program with twenty-three grantees, followed by Eastern African country 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 opportunities 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 expat startups over local and b black-led companies.”, says Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, SSA.

Launched in April 2012, the Google for Startups program has created over 4,600 jobs and raised more than $290m in funding.

The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund program will introduce the grantees in Africa to Google’s products, connections, and best practices which will help the founders to level the playing field as they build better products and services that add value to the African economy.

60 Startups Selected for Google for Startup Black Founders Fund

Name Country About 
1. Agrikool South Africa Agrikool is an agritech platform that connects farming producers and buyers to a fair and reliable market.
2. Ajua Kenya Ajua is an end-to-end operating system for SMEs to build a credible online presence, get feedback on their businesses and manage the relationship with their customers.
3. Awabah Nigeria Awabah is a digital pensions platform for Africa’s workforce.
4. BAG Innovation Rwanda BAG Innovation is a virtual and gamified platform that offers real-time access to experiential learning for university students and recent graduates.
5. Bailport Rwanda Baliport is a cross-border, multi-currency payment platform focused on enabling intra-Africa & Africa-outbound money transfers through blockchain.
6. Bee Cameroon Bee finances motorcycles for drivers while also providing training and access to jobs.
7. Bookings Africa Nigeria Bookings Africa enables Africa’s gig workforce to digitise and monetize their skills by connecting clients efficiently and transparently to skilled talent across Africa.
8. Brastorne Botswana Brastorne enables rural villages to have access to the digital world without smartphones or data.
9. Built Ghana Built enables access to business and financial tools for Sub-Saharan African small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
10. BuuPass Kenya BuuPass is a travel startup – building digital rails for Africa’s intercity transport industry and supporting bus, train & flight transportation.
11. Cauri Money Senegal Cauri Money is a cashless remittance platform helping African migrants move money from around the world into mobile wallets in Africa.
12. Clafiya Nigeria Clafiya connects individuals, families, and businesses to health practitioners. Users can get access to convenient, quality, and affordable on-demand primary care from their mobile phones.
13. ClinicPesa Uganda ClinicPesa provides an easy-to-use platform where low-income users can set aside funds as low as $0.30 daily dedicated towards healthcare and get access to healthcare loans.
14. COVA Cameroon COVA is a digital insurance platform that enables partner businesses to easily and seamlessly deliver insurance products to their users.
15. CreditAIs South Africa CreditAIs provides credit scoring tools for micro-businesses and individuals that do not fit the existing traditional credit scoring models.
16. DohYangu Kenya DohYangu enables end consumers in Africa to shop FMCG products & get cashback rewards at various retail stores, saving up to 25%.
17. Easy Matatu Uganda Easy Matatu provides a mobile platform that allows commuters to book and pay for scheduled rides on vetted and inspected minibuses.
18. Eden Life Nigeria Eden Life provides an operating system for receiving and rendering essential services in Africa. It is focused on offering food, cleaning, laundry, and beauty services to their customers.
19. Estate Intel Nigeria Estate Intel provides reliable data to businesses that are investing or operating in the African real estate space.
20. Eversend Uganda Eversend is a neobank, providing critical financial products including cross-border financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
21. Exuus Rwanda Exuus empowers informal saving groups with a digital ledger, digital wallet, decentralised social credit score, and instant micro-loans to both groups and individuals.
22. Flex Finance Nigeria Flex Finance helps businesses in Africa to manage approval workflow, access credit, issue corporate cards to employees and make disbursements all from one platform.
23. FlexPay Kenya FlexPay is a merchant-embedded digital savings platform that rewards customers for saving up for purchases—a save now buy later (SNBL) solution at checkout.
24. Gamr Nigeria Gamr is an eSports tournament aggregation platform, helping African gamers discover tournaments they can play in and get rewarded for.
25. Garri Logistics Ethiopia Garri Logistics matches shippers looking to move cargo with vehicle owners and drivers, while finding optimal route pairings to reduce empty miles.
26. Haul 247 Nigeria Haul247 is a logistics platform that connects manufacturing companies and farmers with trucks and warehouses.
27. Healthlane Cameroon Healthlane provides advanced comprehensive health screening, personalised plans, biometric monitoring and genetic analysis as well as in-person and virtual visits with top-rated doctors .
28. Healthtracka Nigeria Healthtracka is a platform that allows users access on-demand healthcare services in the comfort of their homes.
29.. HerVest Nigeria HerVest offers a highly secured, women-focused financial platform that enables women to participate in key financial services, with a focus on female farmers.
30. Kapsule Rwanda Kapsule is a data-as-a-service company that helps healthcare providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies to make better decisions.
31. Keep IT Cool Kenya Keep IT Cool is an early-stage, fast-growing social enterprise that leverages technology to strengthen the African aquaculture and poultry value chain through cold chain and storage.
32. KUDIGO Ghana KUDIGO offers an omni-channel digital commerce platform to empower micro and small businesses in Africa.
33. Kyshi Nigeria Kyshi provides multi-currency accounts and remittance services to and from Africa.
34. Leja Kenya Leja is an Android/USSD application enabling African micro-entrepreneurs to digitise all their business transactions and manage all their finance in one place.
35. LifeBank Nigeria LifeBank leverages technology to provide value in multiple segments (production, marketplace and distribution) of the healthcare supply chain such as blood, oxygen and medical supplies.
36. Mapha South Africa Mapha provides delivery-as-a-service to businesses in peri-urban & township areas.
37. Norebase Nigeria Norebase provides a single digital platform and technology tools for entrepreneurs and businesses to start, scale, and operate in any African country and the United States.
38. OneHealth Nigeria OneHealth is an online pharmacy & healthcare platform that provides access to medicines, healthcare information, and solutions (Laboratory services & Doctors)  to the last mile patient.
39. PesaChoice Rwanda PesaChoice bridges the gap in liquidity for low-middle income earners across the continent and drives access to financial services.
40. Pindo Rwanda Pindo is a cloud communication platform for businesses. It is optimised for developers.
41. Pivo Nigeria Pivo is a credit-focused digital bank for trade, supporting businesses across Africa
42. QShop Nigeria QShop is an easy-to-use DIY e-commerce platform designed to help small and medium-sized businesses scale and sell better online.
43. Rekisa South Africa Rekisa helps businesses create their e-commerce websites and assists them with various digital marketing activities.
44. Scrapays Inc Nigeria Scrapays is creating operating system infrastructure for the recycling value chain in developing nations.
45. Shiip Nigeria Shiip leverages web, mobile and API technology to connect individuals & businesses to delivery services in and out of Africa.
46. Solutech Kenya Solutech helps field-sales teams to sell more efficiently by leveraging powerful insights while providing FMCG companies with real-time data for day-to-day and strategic decision-making.
47. Spleet Nigeria Spleet leverages a ‘Rent Now, Pay Later’ model to drive its mission to ensure that every African can afford a space to live in.
48. Stears Nigeria Stears is a financial intelligence company providing subscription-based content & data to global professionals. Its mission is to build the world’s most trusted provider of African data.
49. Synnefa Kenya Synnefa is building Africa’s first mini-farm ERP connected to IoT sensors that provide soil data and farmer activity data to create a farmer experience score. This score passed on to financial partners to use on farmers’ credit score.
50. Technovera South Africa Technovera is an tech startup developing simple technologies aimed at improving last mile access in Africa.
51. TERAWORK Nigeria TERAWORK is an online freelance marketplace focused on matching freelancers to service buyers.
52. TIBU Health Kenya TIBU Health is an omnichannel healthtech company connecting patients to healthcare services and professionals at a time and location of their choosing.
53. Topset Education Nigeria Topset Education is an edtech platform that makes quality education accessible to Africans everywhere.
54. TopUp Mama Kenya TopUp Mama enables restaurants in Africa to purchase food supplies, access financial services and manage their business.
55. Wellahealth Nigeria Wellahealth provides technology and financial tools to healthcare providers and patients to enable affordability and accessibility of healthcare in emerging markets.
56. Xente Uganda Xente is a digital financial platform with in-built spend management to support businesses across Africa.
57. Zanifu Kenya Zanifu enable SMEs to purchase inventory and pay later.
58. ZayRide Ethiopia ZayRide is a customer-centric on-demand taxi service offering fast and convenient service throughout local areas in Ethiopia.
59. Zuberi Ghana Zuberi is a fintech platform based out of Accra, built to provide financial products and services to salaried workers in a way they have never experienced before.
60. Zuri Health Kenya Zuri Health provides affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients across Sub-Saharan Africa via mobile app, website, Whatsapp chatbot and SMS service.

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Startups

African Startups Raised $3.5 Billion in Six Months

Investors continue to dump billions on African startups in the first half of 2022 as $3.5 billion was invested across a series of startups on the continent despite rising global uncertainties.

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Investors continue to dump billions on African startups in the first half of 2022 as $3.5 billion was invested across a series of startups on the continent despite rising global uncertainties.

According to the report published by African Venture Capital Activities (AVCA), this represents an increase of $2 billion when compared with what was invested in the same period of 2021.

A critical analysis of the report showed Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised more funds than any other niche.

Nigeria had the highest number of closed deals during the period under review. Nigerian startups closed a total of 101 deals within the first six months of 2022. However, in monetary terms, startups in Egypt raised the highest amount of $352 million in 63 funding deals.

Kenya startups raked in $330 million from 54 funding deals while Nigerian startups raised $284 million in 101 funding deals.

Other countries with significant amounts of funds raised include Seychelles with $164 million, Ghana with $133 million in 21 deals, South Africa with $131 million in 50 deals, and Morocco with $108 million in 11 deals. 

A closer look at the result shows that the financial sector takes the lion’s share in the ecosystem. The fintech sector recorded 32 percent of the entire deals and 44 per cent of the total monetary value. This was followed by the Consumer Services and the Industrial Sectors which emerged second and third respectively. 

A further breakdown shows that startups in the financial sector raised $1.54 billion while information technology raised $448 million. 

Other sectors with significant funding include Industrial Services with $430 billion, Energy and Utility raised $360 million, Consumer Services raised $340 million, Communication Services with $173 million, Health Care Services raised $97 million, Materials with $97 million while Real Estate raised $6 million. 

Investors King understands that the African startup ecosystem has been on an astronomical rise since last year. 

It will be recalled that in 2021, African startups raised over $4 billion across 355 funding deals. This is almost three times what was raised in 2020 and 2019. The ecosystem raised $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

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Kenyan Startup Sendy Shut Down Sendy Supply Due to Current Realities Impacting Tech Companies

Kenyan startup Sendy has announced that it is shutting down ‘Sendy supply’, one of its products that enable easy trade between buyers and sellers within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

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Sendy

Kenyan startup Sendy has announced that it is shutting down ‘Sendy supply’, one of its products that enable easy trade between buyers and sellers within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

The startup disclosed that this move was necessitated as the company intends to shift its focus to another product, ‘Sendy Fulfillment’, noting that the cost of this shift in its business model will see the employment of 54 people or 20% of the company’s workforce.

This move, according to a statement made by the company’s co-founder and CEO Mesh Alloys, is part of a wider strategic focus to “consolidate efforts around solutions that impact more customers and speak to the current and immediate market challenges.”

Alloys further stated that the firm will now be solely focused on ‘Sendy Fulfillment’, the company’s product that allows online brands and large eCommerce brands to store and distribute their products.

He said, “With the growing uptake of digital commerce and recognizing the opportunities it presents for businesses, we are doubling down on Fulfillment to support online merchants with the necessary tools to sell and fulfill directly through digital platforms”.

Back in July, the company laid off 10% of its 300 staff. The company CEO Alloys in a statement stated that it made the move to respond to the “current realities impacting tech companies globally”, which forced the company to rethink how it is doing business, and cut costs. 

Ever since the last layoff in July, the startup has been working effortlessly to ensure continuous acceleration despite the layoff and the tech downturn that has made some processes difficult.

Launched in 2014, Sendy connects customers with packages to dispatch riders and truck drivers via their mobile app. Customers can track the location of their packages in real-time via the mobile app.

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DAI Magister Academy Launched to Support Emerging Market Start-up Founders

First cohort of ten African start-ups completed as Academy unveils broader roll-out

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A new Academy for early-stage companies has been launched by DAI Magister, the boutique investment bank offering full advisory services for transactions within the climate, fintech, tech-enabled commerce and communications sectors.

The DAI Magister Academy is a free service aimed at companies that have already raised at least $2m, and who are looking to raise a larger round, but one that is below DAI Magister’s traditional $30m+ round size focus.

The Academy has already provided this service successfully to its first cohort of ten African companies and is now rolling out more broadly across the African ecosystem and eventually into other emerging markets such as MENA and Pakistan. In addition, the plan is to provide this service to companies in Europe focused on climate tech, where DAI Magister has deep expertise.

Victor Basta, Co-Head, DAI Magister Ltd, stated: “We have developed this individualized program to stand apart from the traditional and more generic set of services generally offered to early-stage companies.  For us the primary focus is to provide free, tailored advice to each specific company.  This means a far more responsive and knowledgeable approach based on local market experience. To date we have run ten companies through the Academy from across Africa and the response has been terrific.

“Our objective is to help founders and start-ups to focus on what that company needs to improve, highlight and/or get right before it raises a larger round.  Founders get one go at this often challenging milestone, so it is imperative they get the basics right to secure a successful next round of fundraising.”

The DAI Magister Academy focuses on three core areas: reviewing and challenging equity stories; reviewing target investor lists and suggesting additional potential investors; and reviewing the company’s financial model and suggesting improvements where necessary.

Individualized support is provided to each company in the Academy, spending time with the team to understand the business and its focus, as well as analyse how it performs against the three core metrics. The output is a specific customised confidential feedback report.

Basta concluded: “For those founders and companies with huge ambition, the DAI Magister Academy is a resource we would urge them to take advantage of.  This service is entirely free with the work being done by the same professionals who advise larger companies through significant fundraises.  The teams therefore have the knowledge and experience of knowing what best-in-class looks like when an ambitious business looks to raise $30m+ and eventually much more.”

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