American Technology Company, Google has announced 11 start-ups that made it into the second cohort of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa program. Since its establishment in 2017, Launchpad Accelerator Africa forms an important part of Google’s initiatives that support the African entrepreneurial ecosystem and builds on the Launchpad programmes already run in Africa, which have successfully connected over 200 African mentors with several hundred African tech startup entrepreneurs through one-week bootcamps in six different African cities over the last two years.
The first phase of the Launchpad Accelerator Africa class recorded 12 start-ups graduate, with more than 20 teams from Google and 40 mentors from nine countries supporting them.
The start-ups have created 132 jobs and, between them, have raised over US$7 million in funding and their products are being used by approximately 4.5 million people.
For the next three months, the selected start-ups will receive intense mentorship and support from Google to launch them into global competitive businesses, Cloud and Firebase Credits, Access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, during and after the programme and Inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors.
Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Start-up Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa said that “we’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year, while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and start-ups is essential to drive employment growth, and enable both economic and social development on the continent.”
The 11 finalists from six countries include;
AppZone (Nigeria): AppZone builds Software as a service (SaaS) fintech software ecosystems for digital banks, allowing them to reduce operational costs while improving service delivery.
Chalkboard Education (Ghana): Allows educational institutions to make their curricula available via mobile devices (USSD, SMS, and internet). It also lets those institutes gather insights about student learning patterns and helps them create and adapt curricula for the mobile space.
Cloud9xp (Kenya): Cloud9xp is an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa and the Middle East.
EzyAgric (Uganda): EzyAgric is an on-demand platform that provides inclusive and data-driven access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers and agribusinesses in Uganda. It does so through a network of youth agents equipped with smartphones and other forms of agricultural technology, providing employment and helping farmers improve yields and market access in one go.
Formplus (Nigeria): Formplus allows companies to collect online and offline data through the use of customisable digital forms. The startup also provides analytics based on form answers and allows for payment collection via PayPal, Stripe and Flutterwave
Medsaf (Nigeria): Medsaf is a one-stop, curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies.
Mintrics (Egypt): This social video intelligence platform helps brands and agencies understand how people are interacting with their social videos, giving them insight into what is and isn’t working and thereby maximising their ROI.
PayGo Energy (Kenya): PayGo’s smart meter and connected software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better service their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
Pineapple (South Africa): Pineapple’s unique machine learning technology allows users to easily insure individual items using just a mobile app.
Preeva (South Africa): Preeva is an online platform that connects students with young educators who provide tutoring help at school and university.
Thank U Cash (Nigeria): Thank U Cash is an online rewards platform that allows consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can be swapped for cash and merchants to benefit from extra spend.
So far at the global level, Google’s global accelerator programme, Launchpad Accelerator has enrolled seven African start-ups; Twiga Foods, JUMO, Paystack, Delivery Science, Helium Health, Paylater and Aerobotics and they have been provided with visibility, best-in-class mentorship and access to Google’s network in Silicon Valley.
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