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Second class of Launchpad Africa have raised $12m, created 253 jobs – Google
The 11 startups from the second class of Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator have created 253 jobs and have raised over $12-million before and during the programme, says the accelerator’s head of startup success and services Folagbade Olatunji-David.
In addition, the 33 founders from six countries that made up the programme’s participants also raised $110 000 in equity-free funding from Google.
In a statement on Friday (9 November), when the second class of startups from Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme graduated, Olatunji-David said over the course of the three-month programme, the 11 startups comprising Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 engaged with 48 mentors from nine countries.
The nine countries were Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.
Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced in July last year and will run until 2020, with two intakes of 10 to 12 startups per year, representing an investment of $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the three years.
Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme.
The 11 startups from the second class of Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator have created 253 jobs and have raised over $12-million before and during the programme
Google has also since April 2016, hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country.
It also runs programmes such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements.
Community groups engage in activities like study groups for developers called Study Jams. There are some 140 communities across 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some 61 of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching more than 5000 developers in the last year.
Commenting in the statement on Friday, Olatunji-David said the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of the continent. “Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth, and enable both economic and social development on the continent,” she said.
11 startups from class 2
The 11 startups from six countries that made up Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 were:
AppZone (Nigeria): AppZone builds Software as a service (SaaS) fintech software ecosystems for digital banks, allowing them to reduce operational costs while improving service delivery.
Chalkboard Education (Ghana): Allows educational institutions to make their curricula available via mobile devices (USSD, SMS, and internet). It also lets those institutes gather insights about student learning patterns and helps them create and adapt curricula for the mobile space.
Cloud9xp (Kenya): Cloud9xp is an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa and the Middle East.
EzyAgric (Uganda): An on-demand platform that provides inclusive and data-driven access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers and agribusinesses in Uganda. It does so through a network of youth agents equipped with smartphones and other forms of agricultural technology, providing employment and helping farmers improve yields and market access in one go.
Formplus (Nigeria): Allows companies to collect online and offline data through the use of customisable digital forms. The startup also provides analytics based on form answers and allows for payment collection via PayPal, Stripe and Flutterwave.
Medsaf (Nigeria): Medsaf is a one-stop, curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies.
Mintrics (Egypt): This social video intelligence platform helps brands and agencies understand how people are interacting with their social videos, giving them insight into what is and isn’t working and thereby maximising their return on investment (ROI).
PayGo Energy (Kenya): PayGo’s smart meter and software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better service their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
Pineapple (South Africa): Pineapple’s unique machine learning technology allows users to easily insure individual items using just a mobile app.
Preeva (South Africa): An online platform that connects students with young educators who provide extra help at school and university.
Thank U Cash (Nigeria): Thank U Cash is an online rewards platform that allows consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can be swapped for cash and merchants to benefit from extra spend.
Apply for next class
The next class will open in 2019.
Startups in 17 countries across the continent including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe are able to apply to participate in the programme.
To be eligible, startups have to be technology startups, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, target the African market, and have raised seed funding.
Google additionally considers the problem each startup is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how it addresses a real challenge for its home city, country or Africa broadly.
Interested startups can see when applications open at: https://developers.google.com/startups/regional/
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