Google Ups The Ante In Vol.2 Of Its African Startup Funding Push

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In 2021, African tech startups collectively raised over USD 4 B; more than twice the amount recorded in 2020. This growth, however, does not discount the existence of a significant funding gap for locally-founded African startups as 82 percent of them report difficulties in accessing funding.

Following Google’s commitment to democratising progress, Google for Startups launched the inaugural Black Founders Fund in Africa program in 2021 – supporting 50 black-led businesses across the continent. Since then, those startups are reported to have gone on to raise over USD 70 M in follow-on funding; as well as employ over 500 people and staff and grow their revenues.

In a fresh announcement, Google has now elected to extend its support in Africa, with a second USD 4 M Black Founders Fund which will provide 60 startups in Africa with up to USD 100 K in equity-free cash awards, paired with up to USD 200 K per startup in Google Cloud credits as well as mentorship, technical and scaling support from Google.

This announcement follows the impact of the inaugural Black Founders Funds in the US, Brazil, Europe and Africa. Over the years, Google for Startups through the Google for Startups Accelerator and Partner programmes, has supported over 1,500 startups in Africa. And it’s had some measure of success as the platform claims an estimated 20 percent of all VC funding deployed on the continent is going to the Google for Startups Africa alumni community.

The fund targets startups in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.

Applicants must have an early-stage start-up with black founders or diverse founding teams, and should be headquartered in Africa. The company says applications (which can be submitted here) for the new USD 4 M Black Founders Fund in Africa are now open until May 31st.

Featured Image Courtesy: Crunchbase

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