60 African Startups receives $4million Google funding




…Nigeria now global supplier of tech talents- FG

US based tech giant, Google has unveiled 60 African Startups grantees of its second cohort Black Founders Fund (BFF) initiative.

This is the Director General/CEO National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), Mr Kashifu Abdullahi said Nigeria is now a global supplier of tech talents.

Abdullahi in his remarks on Tuesday during the unveiling ceremony in Abuja, said the project will boost Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

According to him, “This is the a golden opportunity for our Startups, because funding is one of the biggest challenge facing the Nigeria tech ecosystem.

“We have global talent shortage, everywhere they are looking for talents. In Nigeria we have the talents that is why they are coming to tap from the pool.

“This kind of initiative will help us create more talent in country because it is the people component of technology.

“If you don’t have the people that we think and invent new ideas, there is no way we can have a good technology.

“It is an opportunity to position ourselves to be the global talent suppliers. Because we cannot compete with this big countries in terms of hard ware manufacturing but in terms of software and talent. This initiative will help build more in-country talents, solve local problems and upscale them to global scale. This will open up Nigeria tech industry to the global market”.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, the Head Startup Ecosystem Africa, Mr Folarin Aiyegbusi disclosed that Africa challenges need to be solve through deliberate effort by Africans and Globally. He said there is no better time than now to solve this challenges.

He explained that, “Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the Black Founders Fund program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.

“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences. This is to help the grantees buffer the  cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet”.

One of the grantee, the founder of Norebase, Tola Onayemi, lauded Google for promoting tech innovation in Africa.

Grantees include, Lifebank, HerVest, Healthtracka, Agrickool, Ajua, Awabah, Bailport, Estate Intel, Bag Innovation, Bee, Bookings Africa, Branstorne, Built, BuuPass, Cauri Money, Clarifa, Eden Life, Flex Finance, Gamr, Haul247, LifeBank, Wellahealth and 37 other startups.

The Winners are made up of 50% women-led businesses, hail from Nigeria, Botswana,  Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.

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.  Inlcuding 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.

Nigerian Newsshpere gathered that previous cohort grantees of BFF such as CredPal and others have started contributing tremendously to the growth of tech industry.