By Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Sub Saharan Africa
Black founders in Africa are harnessing the power of technology to tackle some of the region’s most pressing challenges. From healthcare to agriculture, these startups are developing solutions that could transform communities and contribute towards a better future. However, to fully unleash their potential and expand their solutions, these founders require access to funding and resources that were previously inaccessible to them.
In 2020, we introduced the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to help Black founders overcome these unique challenges and secure the crucial capital necessary for their success. The initial recipients of the fund in the US raised millions of dollars in follow-on funding within months, with many attributing their success to their partnership with Google. Last year, we announced the second cohort of recipients for the Black Founders Fund in Africa, with a total of 110 startups benefiting from the program. These startups have raised over $107 million in follow-on funding, hired 824 staff members, and expanded their revenue growth.
Daniel Temesgen Garri Logistics and Naledi Magowe Brastorne are two of the many Black Founders Fund recipients who are leveraging the program to scale their solutions and create a significant impact in their respective communities. Garri Logistics, a Digital Freight Brokerage and Transport company in Ethiopia, utilized Google’s AI tools and services to optimize an offline and fragmented industry, making it more efficient. As a participant in the Black Founders Fund, Temesgen had access to Google Cloud credits, which he used to train multiple large machine learning models and receive guidance from Google mentors to prepare for fundraising.
Brastorne, on the other hand, created a platform that allows underserved communities across Africa to access the digital world without requiring smartphones or data bundles. With Google’s support, Brastorne invested in new analytics and business intelligence systems to track user behavior metrics more effectively. Since successfully launching in Cameroon, Brastorne has reached 100,000 users in the first month alone, proving the effectiveness of the Black Founders Fund in transforming communities and empowering entrepreneurs in Africa.
These startups showcase the immense potential and positive impact that Black founders in Africa can bring to their respective industries and communities with the right support and resources.
Applications open for Black Founders Fund 2023
We are excited to announce that the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is now accepting applications from Black founders across the African continent. Eligible startups should have a technology-based product or service in the early stage or growth phase and demonstrate the potential to scale. Applicants must have a Black founder who plays an active leadership role in the company and be based in one of the eligible countries.
To apply, visit the program page at https://goo.gle/ApplyforBFFAfrica and learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply. Applications are open now and will close on March 26.