Search engine giant, Google has announced a new set of startups for its second Launch Pad Accelerator Africa, which it said is part of its ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent.
The 11 finalists from six countries, in alphabetical order, are:
AppZone (Nigeria): AppZone builds Software as a service (SaaS) fintech software ecosystems for digital banks, allowing them to reduce operational costs while improving service delivery.
Chalkboard Education (Ghana): Allows educational institutions to make their curricula available via mobile devices (USSD, SMS, and internet). It also lets those institutes gather insights about student learning patterns and helps them create and adapt curricula for the mobile space.
Cloud9xp (Kenya): Cloud9xp is an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa and the Middle East.
EzyAgric (Uganda): EzyAgric is an on-demand platform that provides inclusive and data-driven access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers and agribusinesses in Uganda. It does so through a network of youth agents equipped with smartphones and other forms of agricultural technology, providing employment and helping farmers improve yields and market access in one go.
Formplus (Nigeria): Formplus allows companies to collect online and offline data through the use of customisable digital forms. The startup also provides analytics based on form answers and allows for payment collection via PayPal, Stripe and Flutterwave
Medsaf (Nigeria): Medsaf is a one-stop, curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies.
Mintrics (Egypt): This social video intelligence platform helps brands and agencies understand how people are interacting with their social videos, giving them insight into what is and isn’t working and thereby maximising their ROI.
PayGo Energy (Kenya): PayGo’s smart meter and connected software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better service their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
Pineapple (South Africa): Pineapple’s unique machine learning technology allows users to easily insure individual items using just a mobile app.
Preeva (South Africa): Preeva is an online platform that connects students with young educators who provide tutoring help at school and university.
Thank U Cash (Nigeria): Thank U Cash is an online rewards platform that allows consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can be swapped for cash and merchants to benefit from extra spend.
The first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class saw 12 startups graduate, with more than 20 teams from Google and 40 mentors from nine countries supporting them. The startups have directly created 132 jobs and, between them, have raised over US$7 million in funding. Their products are being used by approximately 4.5 million people.
Speaking at the unveiling of the second class in Lagos, Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, said “The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent. We’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year, while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth, and enable both economic and social development on the continent.”
For the second class Google extended applications to an additional 11 countries, competition for spots was even fiercer than the first time around. Google received more than 250 applications, including from graduates of previous Launchpad programmes, with others referred to the programme by Launchpad mentors.
The finalists each receive:
- 3 months intense mentorship and support from Google
- Cloud and Firebase Credits
- Three weeks all-expense-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa (Lagos and Johannesburg)
- Access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, during and after the programme
- Inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors