Google for Startups UK has launched its first ever Africa Immersion cohort; a 12 week programme designed to bring the best of Google expertise and the London startup ecosystem to technology companies from Africa and help drive socio-economic impact in their operating countries. With the population of Africa set to double from 1.2bn to 2.5bn by 2050, there’s never been a more important time to support untapped markets to find solutions to issues faced.
In 2018, African tech startups raised approx. $725.6Mn in funding. This represented an astonishing 127% year-on-year growth in funding raised by tech startups on the continent.
Starting on 3rd September, the Africa Immersion programme aims to connect high potential early stage startups from Africa to the London venture capital ecosystem, with the dedicated support of the Google for Startups team. Throughout the 12 weeks, founders will be given access to Google tools, expertise and mentoring to provide support where it’s most needed. This includes help to boost sales, advising on marketing strategies, troubleshooting a product issue and even support with fundraising. After one week of full time support in London, the founders will return to their home countries and continue the programme in tandem with growing their businesses and creating local success stories and employment.
The 12 week programme will conclude with a founder graduation event in November in Lagos, Nigeria.
The societal issues being tackled by these 10 founders are vast. Spanning from the inclusion of African DNA in pharmaceutical research, to extending access to clean cooking fuel and from enabling the creation of digital addresses to support the 4 billion people across emerging markets who do not have a physical address, to powering financial cooperatives so they can immediately meet their members’ needs.
The programme will be led by the Head of Google for Startups UK and serial entrepreneur, Marta Krupinska, together with programme lead Mariama Boumanjal and her team.
LONDON IMMERSION AFRICA STARTUPS:
- 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. In June, 54gene raised $4.5M from Y Combinator and others.
- 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 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.