The short: Google is giving $4 million in investments to 60 African startups through its Black Founders Fund program.
The Black fund: The 60 startups will get up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit and equity-free capital ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. They will also receive free training and mentorship for six months.
The country with the most grantees – as expected – are Nigeria (23), followed by Kenya (12), Rwanda (6), South Africa (5), Uganda (4), Cameroon (3), Ghana (3), Ethiopia (2), Botswana (1), and Senegal (1).
How the startups were selected: Google considered three factors – product-market fit, startup-programme fit, and founder potential with high marks for startups with innovative leaders.
Google for Women: 93% of the funding raised by African startups in 2021 went to those with a male CEO, while startups raised less than 1% with an all-female founding team or a single female founder.
This fund closes that gap a bit. 50% of the grantees are female-led startups specialising in fintech, healthcare, eCommerce, logistics, agritech, education, hospitality, and smart cities.
Final thoughts: The Black Fund has generated more than $290 million in financing and over 4,600 new jobs since its 2012 launch. That’s impressive.
Google’s putting its money where its mouth is, and with the current bear market, I’m sure startups are glad to get some extra cash.