$9m raised by Google’s Launchpad Accelerator start-ups

Start-ups that participated in the third Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa have raised $9m to scale their business operations.

While sharing their testimonies at the graduation ceremony held in Lagos, they said the training and mentorship during the accelerator initiative had helped to increase their customer base.

The programme organised by Google as part of its ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent, comprised 12 start-ups from six African countries – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – 58 per cent of which have female co-founders.

Google said all of the teams in class three had been trained in machine learning technologies and had started implementing Artificial Intelligence in their business operations.

The 12 start-ups are: 54Gene (Nigeria); Data Integrated Limited (Kenya); Instadiet.me (Egypt); Kwara (Kenya); OkHi (Kenya); PAPS (Senegal) and ScholarX (Nigeria).

Others are Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya); Voyc.ai (South Africa); WellaHealth (Nigeria); Swipe2pay (Uganda); and Zomila (South Africa).

The Head of Start-up Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Fola Olatunji-David, said: “This represents an alignment towards building AI-first start-ups powered by Google technology. The start-ups in this class have raised close to $9m in funding, created more than 120 jobs and their products and services have over 270,000 users.

Explaining further, he said: “We know that Africa is awash with entrepreneurial potential. If that potential is to be transformed into job creation, start-ups founded by those entrepreneurs need to grow. This programme is about giving them the best possible chance of achieving that growth.

“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” Olatunji-David added. “We’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and start-ups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives.”

The organisers said the class four cohort of the programme would commence later this year, adding that applications were open till July 26.


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