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5 Kenyan founders to receive Sh50M each from Google

Five Kenyan start ups are among those selected to benefit from Google's Sh560M fund

Group photo of selected founders

Google for Startups (GfS) has unveiled the 25 African-based startups that have been selected to receive a total of $4 million in funding through the Black Founders Fund.

Now in its third year, the Black Founders Fund is aimed at addressing systemic racial inequality in venture capital (VC) funding.

It provides equity-free grants and mentoring to early-stage, Black-led high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa.

The 25 African startups were chosen from a cohort of 40 startups from Europe and Africa, showcasing the diverse entrepreneurial spirit present throughout the African continent.

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A notable highlight is that 72% of the selected startups are led or co-founded by women, underscoring the crucial role women play in shaping Africa's startup ecosystem.

Five of the startups are founded by Kenyans.

  1. Fleetsimplify (Kenya): A monetization platform connecting gig drivers and vehicle owners.
  2. Jumba (Kenya): Improving Kenya's construction sector supply chain through a B2B platform.
  3. Tushop (Kenya): A tech platform for group buying of daily essentials in Kenya.
  4. Uzapoint (Kenya): A mobile/web POS solution for digitizing bookkeeping in Africa's informal sector.
  5. Zydii (Kenya): Providing localized digital training solutions for African SMEs.

The funding will provide these businesses with the capital necessary to propel their ventures to the next level, expand into new markets, and create economic opportunities while fostering job creation.

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Early-stage investment is paramount to the success of startups and the overall African startup ecosystem.

It is a key factor in positioning Africa as a global technology leader. With the decline in African tech investment in 2023, it is vital for startups in Africa to secure funds that sustain their growth and enable them to develop innovative solutions tailored to the continent's needs.

These 25 startups are revolutionizing various sectors in Africa through the power of technology.

From enhancing healthcare accessibility to reimagining retail and pioneering fintech solutions, they are addressing some of Africa's most pressing challenges.

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Tushop is transforming retail with a group-buying platform that promotes cost-saving and community engagement in Kenya.

Each of the selected startups will receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, advertising support, one-on-one mentoring by industry experts, and valuable connections within Google's vast network.

Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startups Ecosystem, Africa at Google, expressed enthusiasm about working with this group of innovative founders who are utilizing technology to tackle Africa's most pressing challenges.

He emphasized the commitment of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to address the stark inequality in VC funding by providing Black founders with the necessary resources and support for their success.

Ms. Cathy Chepkemboi, Founder of Tushop, one of the selected startups for the 2023 Fund, highlighted their passion for leveraging technology to empower Kenyan consumers and increase their buying power.

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She expressed gratitude for the support from Google for Startups, emphasizing how it brings them closer to their goal of positively impacting the lives of millions of consumers in Kenya and beyond.

Since its inception, the Black Founders Fund has facilitated over $205 million in investor conversations, representing a 12-fold increase. This significant growth has translated into the participating startups collectively surpassing $6.1 million in monthly recurring revenue, marking a 7% increase.

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