Search engine giant has involves 12 startups from six African countries , Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa Uganda in its Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3, an ongoing effort to support entrepreneurship on the continent.
The 12 startups have 6 female co-founders and 9 are either AI-enabled or have AI potential.
Announcing the startups via a press release, Fola Olatunji-David, Google’s head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Africa said: “These companies will join other startups in the Launchpad programme, present and past, that are using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region. We look forward to supporting and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world.”
The 12 startups are 54Gene from Nigeria, which improves drug discovery by researching multiple genetically diverse African populations; Data Integrated Limited from Kenya, which automates and digitises SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
Others are Instadiet.me from Egypt, which connects patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians online to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight; Kwara from Kenya, which provides a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
OkHi from Kenya, a physical addressing platform for emerging markets that is on a mission to enable the 4 billion without a physical address to “be included”; PAPS from Senegal, a logistics startup with a strong client-care orientation, focused on last mile delivery in the domestic market that features live tracking, an intelligent address system and automatic dispatch.
ScholarX from Nigeria, an education startup that connects high potential students with funding opportunities to help them advance in their studies; Tambua Health Inc. from Kenya, the Tambua App turns a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors and clinical information come up with a diagnostic report are also involved.
The remaining are Voyc.ai from South Africa, Voyc.ai’s CX Research Platform helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, personas and customer journey maps; WellaHealth from Nigeria, a pharmacy marketplace for affordable high quality disease-care (such as malaria treatment) driven by artificial intelligence and Zelda Learning from South Africa, which provides free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and then links them to funding and study opportunities.
The startups 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 Nairobi), access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, during and after the programme and inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors.
To be accepted into Launchpad Accelerator Africa, applicants must be an early stage technology startup based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, that has already raised seed funding. Google additionally considers the problem the startup is trying to solve, how it creates value for users and how it addresses a real challenge for their home city, country or Africa broadly. Further, Google looks at whether the startup will share what they will learn from the programme for the benefit of other startups in their local ecosystem.
First announced in July 2017, Launchpad Accelerator Africa forms an important part of Google’s initiatives that support the African entrepreneurial ecosystem and builds on the Launchpad programmes already run in Africa, which have successfully connected over 200 African mentors with several hundred African tech startup entrepreneurs through one-week bootcamps in three different African cities over the last two years.