Google for Startups (GfS) today announced the 25 African-based startups selected for this year’s $4million Black Founders Fund.
The Black Founders Fund, now in its third year, aims to help tackle systemic racial inequality in venture capital (VC) funding by providing equity-free grants and mentoring to early stage Black-led high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa.
The selected cohort of 40 startups from Europe and Africa, includes 25 African startups that embody the diverse entrepreneurial spirit across the African continent. Startups led or co-founded by women make up 72% of the group, highlighting the role women play in shaping Africa’s startup ecosystem. 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.
Early-stage investment is essential for the success of startups and the African startup 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, startups in Africa need funds to sustain their growth and develop innovative solutions for the continent.
From accessible healthcare to efficient logistics, to innovative fintech solutions, these startups are harnessing the power of technology to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges. HealthDart is elevating healthcare by providing comprehensive services and insurance through its digital platform. Tushop is reimagining retail with a group-buying platform in Kenya that encourages cost-saving and community engagement. Herconomy is breaking new ground in the fintech sector with its goal to become Africa’s first women-focused bank.
Each selected startup will receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, Ad support, 1:1 mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within Google’s network.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startups Ecosystem, Africa at Google 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”
Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti, Founder of Herconomy, selected for the 2023 Fund comments:, “At Herconomy, we are on a mission to reimagine the financial landscape for women in Africa. Being chosen for the prestigious 2023 Black Founders Fund will fuel our revolutionary vision and accelerate our progress. With the funding and support provided by the program, we will expedite the development of our innovative solutions, enhance support for our valued customers, and expand our presence on an international scale.
Cathy Chepkemboi, Founder of Tushop, selected for the 2023 Fund comments:, “At Tushop, our passion lies in leveraging technology to empower Kenyan consumers and increase their buying power. Our ultimate ambition is to transform the way daily essentials and FMCG products are accessed, enabling individuals to save significantly. With the support of Google for Startups, we are one step closer to realising our goal of positively impacting the lives of millions of consumers in Kenya and beyond.
Njabulo Skhosana, Founder of HealthDart, selected for the 2023 fund comments, “At HealthDart, we empower patients to access affordable and timely solutions for basic health problems through our technology-driven approach. By integrating pharmacy, telemedicine, and insurance with seamless payment options, we ensure affordable access to comprehensive primary healthcare. 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.
Since its inception, the Black Founders Fund has facilitated over $205 million in investor conversations, representing a 12-fold increase. This has sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding $6.1 million, marking a 7% increase.
List of Startups
- 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 digitising 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 centres 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): 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 African 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 digitising bookkeeping in Africa’s informal sector.
- Zinacare (South Africa): Online platform for accessible, affordable healthcare services.
- Zydii (Kenya): Localised digital training solutions for African SMEs.