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
1. Akoma Health (Nigeria): Akoma Health operates a technology platform that delivers accessible and culturally conscious mental health services across Africa, addressing the pressing need for mental well-being support.
2. BezoMoney (Ghana): BezoMoney is a digital banking solution that aims to bridge the financial inclusion gap in Africa by providing mobile and web platforms for the underbanked population.
3. Chargel (Senegal): Chargel is a digital trucking platform that connects shippers and carriers in Francophone West Africa, streamlining logistics and enhancing efficiency in the transportation industry.
4. Charis UAS (Rwanda): Charis UAS utilizes cutting-edge drone technology to provide 3D geospatial data, empowering industries such as agriculture, construction, and urban planning with precise mapping and analytics.
5. Evolve Credit (Nigeria): Evolve Credit offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that digitizes and manages banking services, enabling financial institutions to enhance their operations and serve customers more efficiently.
6. Excel At Uni (South Africa): Excel At Uni provides digital services to support student funders, aiding them in managing their finances, scholarships, and educational resources.
7. EzyAgric (Uganda): EzyAgric employs AI-powered mobile technology to revolutionize Africa’s farming sector, empowering farmers with essential tools and information to optimize agricultural practices.
8. Fez Delivery (Nigeria): Fez Delivery operates a last-mile logistics platform catering to various industries, ensuring swift and reliable delivery services to meet the demands of businesses and consumers alike.
9. Fleetsimplify (Kenya): Fleetsimplify connects gig drivers with vehicle owners through its monetization platform, enabling seamless coordination and efficient utilization of transportation resources.
10. HealthDart (South Africa): HealthDart is a digital health maintenance organization (HMO) that offers end-to-end health services, including insurance, leveraging technology to enhance healthcare accessibility and affordability.
11. Herconomy (Nigeria): Herconomy is a female-focused fintech company with the ambition of becoming Africa’s first women’s bank, empowering women entrepreneurs and providing them with tailored financial solutions to support their businesses and economic empowerment.
12. Jumba (Kenya): Jumba is dedicated to improving Kenya’s construction sector supply chain through its innovative business-to-business (B2B) platform, streamlining procurement processes and fostering collaboration among industry stakeholders.
13. MDaaS Global (Nigeria): MDaaS Global operates tech-powered diagnostic centers, making affordable healthcare accessible to underserved communities across Nigeria by leveraging advanced medical technology.
14. My Pocket Counsel (Nigeria): My Pocket Counsel is a legal tech platform that simplifies contract generation and management, empowering businesses and individuals to navigate legal processes efficiently and cost-effectively.
15. Orda (Nigeria): Orda is a pan-African neobank specifically designed for restaurants, offering cloud-based software solutions to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth in the food service industry.
16. Periculum (Nigeria): Periculum is a data company that plays a vital role in aiding credit assessment and mitigating fraud and churn risks, providing businesses with valuable insights to make informed decisions.
17. Raenest (Nigeria): Raenest is a fintech company that offers global financial services to freelancers and startups in Africa, facilitating cross-border transactions and supporting the growth of the digital economy.
18. Ridelink (Uganda): Ridelink is an e-logistics platform that provides shipping services and real-time tracking, optimizing supply chain management and enhancing transparency and efficiency in the logistics industry.
19. Susu (Côte d’Ivoire): Susu is a health platform that offers healthcare services and insurance funded by the African diaspora, promoting health and well-being across the continent by leveraging the support of the global African community.
20. Talamus Health (Ghana): Talamus Health develops tech solutions to target healthcare inefficiencies in Africa, leveraging advanced technology to improve healthcare delivery, accessibility, and patient outcomes.
21. TruQ (Nigeria): TruQ streamlines mid-mile logistics across Africa by connecting businesses with third-party vehicle connectivity solutions, optimizing transportation operations and reducing costs.
22. Tushop (Kenya): Tushop operates a tech platform that enables group buying of daily essentials in Kenya, empowering communities to access essential products at discounted prices while fostering a sense of collective economic strength.
23. Uzapoint (Kenya): Uzapoint provides mobile and web point-of-sale (POS) solutions to digitize bookkeeping in Africa’s informal sector, enabling small businesses to efficiently manage their finances and improve their operations.
24. Zinacare (South Africa): Zinacare is an online platform that offers accessible and affordable healthcare services, leveraging technology to connect patients with healthcare providers, facilitating remote consultations, and expanding access to quality healthcare.
25. Zydii (Kenya): Zydii provides localized digital training solutions for African SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), equipping entrepreneurs and business owners with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the digital era.