Google, on Monday, announced 15 tech startups from Nigeria and six other countries, with Cote D’Ivoire participating for the first time in its Accelerator Africa programme.
Google’s Head, Startup Ecosystem, Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said in a statement that the selected startups were developing solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, fleet management, logistics automation and recruiting.
Aiyegbusi said that Google was thrilled to be starting off the seventh cohort with such a diverse and inspiring group of companies who are harnessing technology to tackle the problems that many people on the continent face every day.
He said that startups in Africa were solving some of the region’s most pressing issues – from employment to logistics, banking, healthcare, and education.
According to him, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme has supported 82 startups from 17 African countries over the past four years.
‘’Collectively, they have raised $112 million and created 2800 direct jobs. In this time, Google has invested $5m through a combination of equity-free funding and product credits for Google services.
‘’Google is committed to Africa’s growing startup and developer ecosystem, Providing end-to-end support and investment to startups pays off for everyone in the long run.
‘’As these startups grow, they advance their local economies, create jobs and opportunities, and provide solutions in their communities.
“A stronger African economy is great for everyone, and Google is committed to helping African businesses thrive,” he concluded.
Aiyegbusi said that the class was selected from thousands of applications, with final selection based on product stage, programme alignment and market fit.
He said that over the next three months, participants would work with Google mentors and facilitators learning best practices on a range of topics including Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, organisational culture, growth and more.
According to him, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programmes are organised around a virtual Bootcamp concept that includes seminars, one-on-one coaching sessions, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.
He said that Bootcamps would take place in March, April and May.
Chief Executive Officer, iVerify.ng, one of the selected startups, Zita Agwunobi, said as a digital identity onboarding platform based in Nigeria, iVerify.ng was extremely delighted to have been selected.
Agwunobi said that amidst the need to deploy more robust technology infrastructure and scale up operations across Africa iVerify.ng, was looking forward to the workshops, mentoring of inestimable value.
The Chief Executive Officer, Fleetsimplify Kenya, Balqis Chepkwony, said the team was thrilled to be selected and “looking forward to working with the Google team to bring sustainable shared mobility solutions in Africa.”
The selected startups also include Clafiya, Nigeria; Fleetsimplify, Kenya; HydroIQ, Kenya; iVerify.ng, Nigeria; LaRuche Health, Côte d’Ivoire; LyRise, Egypt, among others.
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is a three-month accelerator programme for early-stage startups across the African continent.
The programme is designed to bring the best of Google’s products, people and advanced technology to startups, representing over $5 million in equity-free support to date.