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Fourth cohort of Launchpad Africa raised $4.3m, created over 300 jobs, says Google


Google this week hosted its first Google Startup Week in Lagos and demo day for the fourth class of its Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, which saw graduates pitch for funding from some of Africa and the UK’s top venture capitalists.

Google said in a statement earlier this week that the 12 startups from its fourth cohort collectively raised $4.3-million, created over 300 jobs and signed up over 110 000 users.

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They had collectively raised in excess of $600 000 before the programme, and have been able to use Launchpad Accelerator Africa to scale their businesses to new levels.

Launchpad Accelerator Africa has supported 47 startups since 2017

Since Launchpad Accelerator Africa was first announced in late 2017, the programme has supported 47 startups.

These companies, Google said, have raised millions of dollars in investments and created hundreds of jobs across the continent.

All the selected startups receive working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley and Africa. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme.

Africa immersion programme

Google said in the same statement that the demo day coincided with select alumni from classes one, two and three completing a three-month Google for Startups UK Africa Immersion Programme in London.

The programme is designed to bring the best of Google and the London startup ecosystem to tech companies from Africa that do not yet have a presence in the UK.

In partnership with Launchpad Accelerator Africa, the programme aims to connect high potential early-stage startups with the dedicated support of Google for Startups UK to help them take their startup to the next level.

Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups UK, called Africa’s tech startup scene an “incredibly exciting space”  which is very relevant to UK ecosystem and investors.

Having completed their London Immersion, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class one, two and three alumni met with investors from the UK and Africa during Google Startup Week in Lagos to pitch for funding to take their businesses further.

The startups that participated in Google for Startups UK Africa Immersion Programme in London were:

  • 54gene (Nigeria): Founded in 2019, 54gene is creating the world’s first and largest pan-African biobank
  • Fieldinsight (Nigeria): Fieldinsight helps to collect data in a structured manner using mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices which it then aggregates and represents through visualisations to help businesses make the best decisions
  • Kwara (Kenya): Kwara powers financial co-operatives with technology so they can meet their members needs instantly
  • OkHi (Kenya): Nairobi-based OkHi creates digital addresses for people, which they can use (for free) to access reliable business services
  • Paps (Senegal): Paps is an African logistics startup focused on the last mile delivery and domestic markets
  • Piggyvest (Nigeria): Piggyvest is an automated savings and investments platform that helps Nigerians save little amounts of money periodically, and then invests those funds for competitive returns
  • PayGo Energy (Kenya): PayGo Energy’s connected home gas meter links to a global IoT-based infrastructure for cooking gas delivery within high-density, high-demand urban communities
  • ThankUCash (Nigeria): ThankUCash is an analytics and rewards platform built to enable banks and businesses in Africa to acquire, reward and retain loyal customers
  • Thrive Agric (Nigeria): Thrive Agric provides farmers with access to finance, data-driven advisory and access to a market upon harvest
  • Voyc (South Africa): Voyc is on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition towards customer-centricity by making it easy for companies to understand their customers

Read more: Here are the 12 startups selected for Google Launchpad Africa’s fourth class

Featured image: Members from the 12 startups that made up class four of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator and those from the 10 startup that took part in the latest London immersion programme (Supplied)

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