6 Nigerian-led startups get $100k from Google’s $2m Black Founders Fund
6 Nigerian-led startups are among 30 startups with black founders selected by Google to receive part of its $2 million Black Founders Fund. These companies will be receiving cash, ad credits as well as networking and mentoring with the Google crew. All of the companies are based in Europe.
These 6 startups with founders and co-founders of Nigerian descent are; MoveMeBank, Define, Circuit Mind Limited, Contingent, HomeHero and Playbrush. MoveMeBack, however, is the only one with a female co-founder while the 5 other companies all have male co-founders.
Oyin Solebo is the founder of MoveMeBack. She founded the startup in 2014 alongside Solebo and Charles Sekwalor. It connects people to individuals and opportunities that they might not ordinarily have access to through its platform. The big picture for the London-based startup is to connect talent to Africa for the development of the continent.
Circuit Mind has Tomide Adesanmi among its founding team. It was founded in 2018 by Adesanmi and Basilio Gentile, who is the Chief Technology Officer. Using Circuit Mind’s software, engineering teams are able to create better circuits at a faster pace and with lesser errors. It is based in London in the United Kingdom.
Tolulope Ogunsina is a co-founder at Playbrush. It is a dental healthtech startup that helps children and young people brush properly with the aid of video games. It was founded by Matthäus Ittner, Paul Varga and Tolulope Ogunsina and had raised £3.3 million in 4 funding rounds before being selected for the Black Founders Fund. Playbrush is based in London also.
Tai Alegbe is the black co-founder of Contingent. The London-based startup’s product is an AI-powered platform that focuses on proactive supply chain monitoring. It raised £1.7 million in 2020 to accelerate its product development. Alongside Alegbe, Rajpal Wilkhu is also a co-founder of the company.
Kenny Alegbe is the co-founder of HomeHero. The company was founded in 2017 by Alegbe and Mooktakim Ahmed and focuses on making things better for residents and property managers. It does this by bringing different services together in one app for users. The services range from setting up bills to reporting a broken boiler. The startup is based in London in the United Kingdom.
Nnamdi Emelifeonwu is the CEO of Define, a legaltech startup. Define makes it easy to draft, understand and read legal documents in lesser time than it would take to manually. It was founded by Feargus Macdaeid and Nnamdi Emelifeonwu. It is also based in London, UK.
All 30 of the startups that made the list will each receive up to $100,000 in non-equity funding as well as up to $120,000 in Ads grants. They will each also have access to $100,000 in Cloud credits.
Google first announced the funds in October 2020 and since then, more than 800 companies applied. They were further shortlisted to 100 applicants and these ones were interviewed by the tech company. From this smaller cut, an even smaller number of 30 startups were selected as the final winners to share in the fund.
Asides from the 6 that have Nigerians as co-founders, the other 24 startups are Tradein, LINE, Afrocenchix, AudioMob, Augmize, Bosque, Axela Innovation, Freyda, Clustdoc, Heex Technologies, Hutch Logistics, Iknowa, Kami, Kwara, LaLaLand, Modularity Grid, Remote Coach, Robin AI, Scoodle, Suvera, Syrona Health, Vanilla Steel, Wild Radish and Xtramile.
40% of these startups are led by women. In a joint statement by Google’s Head of Startups UK, Marta Krupinska and Google’s Head of VC and Startup Partnerships, EMEA, Rachael Palmer, this 40% diversity is in a bid to encourage gender diversity.
If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.
Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.