Meet the Fourth Cohort of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa

Five months ago, I had written this story about the registration for Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa. I vaguely remember that the registration for the fourth cohort opened as soon as the third graduated on June 21, 2019, raising 9 million dollars at the extent of 12 startups in total—while at the same time creating 120 jobs.

This week, Google had just hosted its first Google Startup Week in Lagos and demo day for the fourth class of its Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa.

What of this class in particular? Well, this fourth cohort incubates the same number of startups like the one before; 12 in total. Interestingly enough, this time, they managed to collectively raise a hefty $4.3m, all while creating over 300 jobs in total.

Google Developer Launchpad Accelerator illustration via techarena.co.ke

Wow—I’m amazed by how five months could mean for those twelve companies. It seems just like yesterday Google opened the registration for this program.

Since its initial phase in late 2017, Launchpad Accelerator Africa has supported a total of 47 startups (and counting!), whilst raising millions of dollars in investment and generating hundreds of jobs across the continent. “All the selected startups receive working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme,” Onajite Emerhor and Fola Olatunji-David, Launchpad Accelerator Africa leads, stated on Google’s official blog.

Google said in the same statement that the demo day coincided with select alumni from classes one, two and three completing a three-month Google for Startups UK Africa Immersion Programme in London.

Fourth class of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa via africa.googleblog.com

Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups UK, professed that Google fully supports independent startups of the continent to tackle with ongoing global issues—in which most of them are experienced firsthand by the people of sub-Saharan Africa. “This is an incredibly exciting space which is very relevant to the UK ecosystem and investors,” Krupinska added.

Collaborating with Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google for Startups aims to incubate seed-stage startups with high potential to solve real-world problems. Thus, Google facilitates these ideas and notions by nurturing them with proper resources. In return, Launchpad Accelerator Africa alumni (which means graduates from classes one, two, and three) had a chance to pitch for funding from some of Africa & the UK’s top venture capitalists.

This collaboration signifies the goal to bring the best of Google and the London startup ecosystem to tech companies from Africa that do not yet have a presence in the UK.

The fourth class of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa via africa.googleblog.com

So, let’s meet our graduates for the latest cohort.

Here are the twelve startups graduating at Google Startup Week Lagos, in alphabetical order:

  • Afara Partners (Nigeria): Afara Partners offers platforms that provide services to the financially underserved/excluded.
  • BrandBook (South Africa): BrandBook is a mobile app that incentivises users to take a picture of their receipts, allowing it to harvest consumer purchase behaviour across all channels.
  • Elewa (Kenya): Elewa is a toolkit for establishing scalable high-quality training programs within existing education- or professional institutions.
  • Eversend (Uganda): Eversend is a multi-currency e-wallet that allows you to exchange, spend and send money at the best possible rates. It also includes insurance, virtual debit cards, and bill payments.
  • OZÉ (Ghana): OZÉ brings African small businesses into the digital era, equipping their owners to make data-driven decisions to improve their performance and access capital.
  • Phenomenal Technologies (Zimbabwe): Phenomenal Technologies offers low-cost field excursions for learners through virtual reality.
  • REACH (Nigeria): REACH recognises, categorises and interprets transaction data from SMS and other sources, making this data available as individual financial and market insights.
  • Sortd (South Africa): Sortd aims to re-invent email with the world’s first All-in-One productivity suite for Gmail and GSuite.
  • TradeBuza (Nigeria): The TradeBuza is a cloud-based web and mobile application, which digitises contract farming and trade.
  • Tulaa (Kenya): Tulaa is an online-to-offline marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa.
  • XEND (Nigeria): XEND allows users to make and receive payments, offline or online.
  • WorkPay (Kenya): WorkPay is cloud-based employee management and payment solution using the power of mobile and biometrics.

In addition, here are the few selected alumni of previous cohorts collaborating in this week’s event of London Immersion Africa:

  • 54gene (Nigeria) – African DNA makes up only 2% of genetic research material used in pharmaceutical research. Founded in 2019, 54gene is creating the world’s first and largest pan-African biobank.
  • Fieldinsight (Nigeria) – Fieldinsight helps to collect data in a structured manner using mobile and IoT devices. It then aggregates and represents this data through visualisations to help businesses make the best decisions.
  • Kwara (Kenya) – Kwara powers financial cooperatives with technology so they can meet their members needs instantly.
  • OkHi (Kenya) – 4 billion people across emerging markets do not have a physical address, costing economies $175bn a year. Based in Nairobi, OkHi creates digital addresses for people, which they can use (for free) to access reliable business services.
  • Paps (Senegal) – Paps is an African logistics startup focused on the last mile delivery and domestic markets, with strong client care orientation, allowing live tracking, intelligent address systems and automatic dispatch.
  • Piggyvest (Nigeria) – Piggyvest is an automated savings and investments platform that helps Nigerians save little amounts of money periodically, and then invest those funds for competitive returns.
  • PayGo Energy (Kenya) – PayGo Energy’s connected home gas meter links to a global IoT-based infrastructure for cooking gas delivery within high-density, high-demand urban communities — changing the entire cooking experience for households and unlocking access to clean cooking for a billion people.
  • ThankUCash (Nigeria) – ThankUCash is an analytics and rewards platform built to enable banks and businesses in Africa to acquire, reward and retain loyal customers.
  • Thrive Agric (Nigeria) – Thrive Agric provides farmers with access to finance, data-driven advisory and access to a market upon harvest.
  • Voyc (South Africa) – Voyc is on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition towards customer-centricity by making it easy for companies to understand their customers.

Source: africa.googleblog.com

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