Google, on Tuesday, rolled out the list of 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa that will be joining its Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa. The grantees, 50% of which are women-led businesses, will receive a total of $4 million in funding and support to enable them to scale up their ongoing work.
The countries represented on the list include Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. The startups selected are players in fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities sectors.
Living up to its name as the Giant of Africa and the continent’s tech hub, Nigeria has the highest number of startups selected for the program: twenty-three (23), trailing behind it is Kenya with twelve grantees and Rwanda holds the third spot with six grantees.
South Africa has five grantees and Uganda has four grantees while Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each. To complete the list, Ethiopia has two selected grantees, while the duo of Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each.
In this piece, we will share a bit about the Nigerian startups listed on the second cohort of the Black Founders Fund that was announced yesterday:
Founded in 2020 by Tunji Andrews, Tina Ajishebiyawo and Gboyega Olatunde, Awabah is a digital pensions platform for Africa’s workforce, with the mission to create a sustainable future for every African.
The company, which is regulated by the National Pension Commission, aims to improve financial inclusion in the informal sector in Nigeria, which accounts for 93% of all employment in Nigeria.
Drawing ideas from the operations of companies like Pinbox, a Singapore-based tech platform committed exclusively to digitizing micro-pension inclusion in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Awabah’s business model is built on pensions fund administration, selling a sustainable future through a partnership with traditional pension fund administrators like it did with Stanbic IBTC pension managers in May 2022.
Bookings Africa, the Pan African online marketplace that enables digital work physically and virtually, was founded in 2018 by UK-trained media personality, Fade Ogunro. The digital platform helps Africa’s gig workforce to digitise and monetize their skills by connecting clients efficiently and transparently to skilled talent across Africa.
Since its launch, the platform has successfully assisted numerous people and families in earning a sustainable income with over 850,000 active users.
The e-health platform connects individuals, families, and businesses to health practitioners – enabling access to convenient, quality, and affordable, on-demand primary care from their mobile phones.
Clafiya is said to be the first service offer semi-urban, urban poor, and rural Nigerian patients an alternative to the high prices and long wait times of the existing health care system.
Its healthcare packages range from US$4.9 to $12. Access to various primary care services, such as blood pressure and blood sugar level screening, primary care consultation and fast malaria and typhoid tests, is provided by each of the packages.
The trio of Nadayar Enegesi, Prosper Otemuyiwa and Silm Momoh founded Eden Life in 2019.
The platform provides an operating system for receiving and rendering essential services in Africa – focused on offering food, cleaning, laundry, and beauty services to their customers, who are majorly working class folks in Lagos, the nation’s commercial centre.
In 2021, the company raised $1.4 million in a seed round led by U.K.-based venture capital firm, LocalGlobe.
Estate Intel , which started as a blog for a couple of years became a full-fledged platform in 2019 after its win at the TechPoint Build Pitching contest.
The platform, founded by Dolapo Omidire, prides itself on providing high-quality insights and reliable data on the African real estate market.
In February 2022, the company graduated from the MetaProp Accelerator in partnership with Columbia University in New York, as one of the first African PropTech startups to be accepted into the global program.
The platform allows businesses to digitize their daily operations through a simple and accessible solution.
The fintech startup was one of the six startups that participated in the 2020 Catalyst Fund where participants received $100,000 in non-equity grants. In 2021, Flex Finance raised six-figure pre-seed funding to expand offering.
Gamr, an eSports tournament aggregation platform, was founded in September 2021. With its online subscription model, the platform allows gamers to interact with each other and enables tournament organizers to host events.
For Gamr, the goal is to help African gamers discover tournaments they can play in and get rewarded for as a means of advancing the gaming culture in Africa.
With over 60,000 community members across the continent, the startup raised an undisclosed seed round to expand further in November 2021.
Founded in March 2020 by Akindele Phillips and Tobi Obasa, Haul247 is an artificial intelligence-powered logistics platform that connects manufacturing companies and farmers with trucks and warehouses.
The company aims to simplify Nigeria and Africa’s freight industry by leveraging technology to drive efficiency, transparency, safety and storage of goods.
In February 2022, the startup rejigged its leadership with the appointment of a new CMO and logistics head.
Healthtracka is a platform that allows users to access on-demand healthcare services in the comfort of their homes. The Lagos-based health tech was launched in May 2021 by Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson (CEO) and Victor Amusan (Head of Product).
The platform, which provides medical lab tests for Nigerians, works with lab partners to analyse received samples and reverts results to users via mail within two days.
The company recently raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Hustle Fund and Ingressive Capital.
The company offers a highly secured, women-focused financial platform that enables women to participate in key financial services, with a focus on female farmers.
HerVest recently received funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to train female farmers on agronomy and financial literacy across key states in Nigeria.
Founded in 2020 by Ayo Akindele, Kyshi is a U.K.-based fintech company that offers financial services and facilitates transnational money transactions in order to alleviate the inconveniences attached to sending money across borders.
It provides multi-currency accounts and remittance services to and from Africa. The company was part of the Techstars Toronto accelerator program in October 2021.
LifeBank leverages technology to provide value in multiple segments (production, marketplace and distribution) of the healthcare supply chain such as blood, oxygen and medical supplies.
The technology and logistics company, founded by Temie Giwa-Tubosun in 2016, connects blood banks to hospitals in urgent need of blood.
According to Giwa-Tubosun, LifeBank serves over 600 hospitals across Nigeria and recently expanded into Kenya. She added the platform has distributed enough blood to save more than 100,000 lives.
The company provides a single digital platform and technology tools for entrepreneurs and businesses to start, scale, and operate in any African country and the United States.
It also offers services like opening of bank accounts, virtual mailing addresses, and trademark and IP registration.
In May 2022, Norebase raised $1 million in a pre-seed round.
Founded by Adeola Alli in 2019, OneHealth is an online pharmacy & healthcare platform that provides access to medicines, healthcare information, and solutions (laboratory services & doctors) to the last mile patient.
The company describes itself as a digital pharmacy for quality medicines and healthcare services for men, women and children.
Pivo, a credit-focused digital bank for trade, supporting businesses across Africa, was launched in 2021 by Nkiru Amadi-Emina (CEO) and Ijeoma Akwiwu (COO). The company offers working capital loans to customers — based on transaction data — without any collateral.
According to Techpoint, the startup has amassed over 250 clients, received loan requests of over $2 million, and disbursed over $1 million since its launch. Pivo has also raised an undisclosed pre-seed round from investors.
Founded in late 2020 by Tarebi Alebiosu, QShop is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform designed to help small and medium-sized businesses scale and sell better online.
The company recently said it is strengthening its platform to improve growth opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Alebiosu also disclosed that the organisation is in partnership with payment platforms like Stripe, Flutterwave, Paystack and Providus to make payment seamless for merchants in any currency.
Scrapays started as an undergraduate project by Boluwatife Arewa, Tope Sulaimon, and Olumide Ogunleye. The idea would later evolve into a tech startup in 2019 creating an operating system infrastructure for the recycling value chain in Nigeria.
The web platform adopts a decentralised model to provide services to waste producers and recycling businesses.
Scrapays also operates a wallet-based system that ensures all parties involved in its value chain earn. It currently serves over 5,500 users and has recovered over 350,000 kilograms of recyclable materials since its launch.
Founded in 2020 by Quadry Olalekan and Ridwan Rasheed, Shiip is a platform that helps businesses handle their delivery to customers.
The company leverages web, mobile and API technology to connect individuals & businesses to delivery services in and out of Africa. Boasting a customer/merchant base of over 100,000 users, the platform’s list of clients includes Mavins Record, Flutterwave, Bumpa, among others.
Spleet is a financial services solutions making residential rental easier in Africa, founded by Akintola Adesanmi and Daniella Ajala in 2018.
It leverages a ‘Rent Now, Pay Later’ model to drive its mission to ensure that every African can afford a space to live in by connecting individuals and landlords.
In 2021, the company got into the MetaProp accelerator, the world’s largest proptech accelerator programme, becoming the first African startup to achieve the feat.
Stears is a financial intelligence company providing subscription-based content & data to global professionals.
Stears started out as a media publication in 2017 and has since grown to build a reputation for high-quality analyses of socioeconomic and political issues in Nigeria.
Led by Preston Ideh, Abdul Abdulrahim, Foluso Ogunlana, and Michael Famoroti, Stears aims to build the world’s most trusted provider of African data. In April 2020, the company raised a seed investment of $600,000 led by a Nigerian-based fund with participation from Luminate,
Terawork is an online freelance marketplace in Africa with the mission to create economic opportunities through sustainable talent supply.
Launched in 2018 by Femi Taiwo, the web platform focuses on matching freelancers to service buyers in order to help African talent earn income globally through freelancing.
The company recently launched its mobile app to help employers and entrepreneurs hire, manage and communicate with vetted talent in real-time.
Topset Education, an ed-tech platform that makes quality education accessible to Africans everywhere, was founded in 2021.
The company aims to make high-quality education available to students of all backgrounds by connecting them to experienced tutors globally.
Launched in 2017 by Ikpeme Neto, Wellahealth is a health-tech startup that provides technology and financial tools to healthcare providers and patients to access affordable and efficient healthcare services in emerging markets.
It provides services for as low as N600 a month for users. The company recently unveiled WellaHealth 2.0, a new and refreshed service offering for its consumers.
About the fund
Funding for the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund will be distributed through Google’s implementation partner, CcHUB.
Each of the selected startups will receive support in the form of a 6-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them.
They will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks and community-building sessions. The 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
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