Applications Are Now Open For Google Startups Black Founders Fund in Africa 2023
Google has recently announced that the application process for the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund 2023 is now open for Black founders across the African continent.
As part of its commitment to support diversity in the tech industry, the company has pledged to provide $4 million in funding to eligible Black-founded startups.
To qualify for the fund, Google disclosed that Startups must be operating and headquartered in Africa or have a legal presence on the continent. Startups must have black founders or diverse founding teams, directly support their domestic market, intend to expand globally, and raise more funding.
Also, Technology startups with an MVP, live product in a market or business where technology is core to their ability to scale (not for consultancies or not-for-profits).
Other eligibility criteria for startups are that the business should be benefitting the black community, and also startups are expected to be building for Africa and have the growth potential to raise more funding, create jobs, and generally be making a measurable impact.
Speaking on the initiative, the head of the startup ecosystem, Google sub-Saharan Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi said, “the support that the selected startups will receive will go a long way to unlock the potential and promote growth in the African tech ecosystem and the next generation of African entrepreneurs”. She further encouraged all eligible startups to apply for the fund, noting that applications will end on the 26th of March 2023.
To apply, startups can visit the program page and learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply. Shortlisted applicants will be notified and invited to interview in May with an experienced panel led by the company’s team. A pan-European, cross-functional senior selection committee will make a final decision after considering all the information gathered during the application process. From June 11th- 15th, there will be an in-person kick-off in London and Paris. The program starts in June and ends in November 2023.
Upon selection, startups will receive up to $150,000 equity-free cash awards and up to $200,000 per startup in Google Cloud credits, support in form of training, and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling the challenges unique to each startup.
What to expect
- Startups will select three goals or OKRs to work on for the duration of this program.
- Founders will be assigned a dedicated Google advisor.
- Founders will be connected to meet mentors monthly via Google Meet.
- Startups can build community with other program participants and partake in workshops and skill-building online sessions.
Countries Eligible for the Funds
The application is open to entrepreneurs in selected African countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Investors King understands that by funding Black founders, Google is promoting wealth generation and job creation in Africa. The first and second cohorts of the Black founder’s funds supported 110 black-owned startups on the African continent.
Nigeria’s EFCC Arrests Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, Founder of Kloud Commerce
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken Dr. Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, the founder of Kloud Commerce, into custody, according to sources.
The EFCC officers reportedly detained Olusanya on Monday while he was in the middle of a meeting at the Lekki offices of Gloopro, one of the business ventures he led. Olusanya’s previous startup, Gloo.ng, was also shut down.
Investors have alleged malfeasance and deceptive practices by Olusanya, who they claim provided false updates on the growth of Kloud Commerce. At least 18 institutional and individual investors had provided capital to the now-shuttered startup.
Former executives and employees who worked with Olusanya at Kloud Commerce had described him as an abrasive founder who presented a positive picture to investors despite scarce progress while continuously demotivating the team he had assembled.
Kloud Commerce had raised USD 765 K in pre-seed funding in 2021 to develop a multi-channel commerce solution for African businesses, starting in Nigeria. However, the startup closed its doors a year later after a prolonged period of questionable management and disputes that left the company crippled for several months.
At the time of publishing this report, Olusanya remains detained, and further clarification on the matter is still pending.
The situation serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in the startup ecosystem, where trust and credibility are vital factors for attracting investors and customers.
Tony Elumelu Funded Entrepreneurs Generated $2.3 Billion Revenue in 8 Years
Entrepreneurs trained and funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have generated a combined $2.3 billion in revenue in the last 8 years, according to the Foundation.
In a brochure made available at the 60th birthday celebration of Tony Elumelu, the founder of TEF and Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), TEF has trained about 1.5 million African entrepreneurs since launched 13 years ago.
The Foundation has also disbursed $100 million in seed capital to over 18,000 entrepreneurs across the African continent, with 25% of the beneficiaries getting additional investments to expand their businesses.
Since its establishment, over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created by TEF entrepreneurs with female-owned businesses creating 58% of the total jobs.
The Foundation explained that it increased women’s employment to 52% from 24% in 2015 and has empowered more than 7,000 women with 85% of those women leading their businesses.
Speaking on its ability to reach entrepreneurs across the African continent, the Foundation said, “The robust ability of the foundation to reach entrepreneurs across geographies and sectors has enabled it to conduct innovative partnerships with the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Government via the United States African Development Fund and others with bespoke programmes including targeting female empowerment and growth in fragile states.”
On his part, Tony Elumelu said “I engage public and private sector players across my world. My message is always simple; let us partner on poverty alleviation, job creation and women’s economic empowerment in Africa.”
Investors King understands that Elumelu holds about 7% or 2.3 billion shares in United Bank for Africa and another 2.1% stake in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria.
In a Facebook post in January 2023, the CEO of the defunct Standard Bank had attributed his early success to hard work and luck, adding that the two variables are imperative in success.
He said “I owed my accelerated career and successes to two things: hard work and luck, and I know firsthand how these factors are inextricable in success.”
“My successes – and yes failures – have always driven me to create opportunities for young people. I believe that our young have the talent and the zeal to transform our world.”
TLG Capital Partners One Pipe, Provides N2.25 billion Collateralized Credit Facility to Expand Operations
Private investment firm which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa TLG Capital has closed a N2.25 billion deal with One Capital, a startup that powers digital financial services, to expand its operations.
The deal which had reportedly been in the works since the third quarter of last year will power One capital’s inventory finance solution for small businesses.
Speaking on the investment made to One Pipe, investment professional at TLG Isaac Marshall said, “Despite contributing $220 billion per year in economic activity, micro-enterprises that deal in cash are Nigeria’s most neglected business segment. Fintechs tend to prefer more digitally integrated clients and traditional financiers tend to prefer bigger clients.
“With a clever product to help these small shops to obtain both credit and better purchasing terms on their goods, OnePipe has pioneered a model that can provide sustainable income growth to tens of millions of micro-enterprises.”
This investment will enable OnePipe to grow its business and work towards its goal of being Nigeria’s top supplier of financial services to small businesses. Its partnership with several banks and fintech has provided the startup with the underlying infrastructure.
OnePipe helps organizations integrate financial services within their value chains to create customer loyalty & improve overall business operations. Since its launch in 2018, OnePipe has raised at least $9.2 million.
Investors King understands that the Techstars-backed company is one of the African companies that has also garnered the support and partnerships of several banks and businesses. This includes, Flutterwave, Quickteller, Fidelity Bank, Migo, Polaris Bank, SunTrust Bank, Providus Bank, Paystack, and Quickteller.
The startup was also exposed to the fall of Silicon Valley Bank; with about $829,000 in the bank which represented 70% of their cash position. Onepipe’s funding announcement also comes as the company has laid off about 20% of its employees, as it seeks to navigate the current economic downturn and adjust to the macroeconomic headwinds.
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