Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa class 2 startups graduated commence in Lagos 9th Novermber, 2018.
Launchpad is a global mentoring programme that helps startups build and scale great products by matching them with the best of Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies.
Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa is a regional Launchpad – an acceleration programme for top early-stage African startups – that was announced on 27 July 2017 at Google for Nigeria by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, It operates out of Lagos, Nigeria.
Over the next three years (2081, 2019, 2020) the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme will provide African startups with over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants receive travel and PR support during each three-month program.
Google announced the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class on 9 November and applications closed on 10 December 2017.
On 18 March 2018 Google announced the startups who will participate in the first Google Accelerator Africa Launchpad, including companies from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.
To qualify, startups had to be a technology startup, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market that had already raised seed funding.
Google additionally considered the problem the start up is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how they addressed a real challenge for their home city, country or Africa broadly.
Launchpad Class 1 graduated on 8 June 2018, by which time the three month programme had connected the 12 participating startups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica.
Each has received $10 000 in an equity-free cash grant, and between them they have raised over $7 million. The startups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users
Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 applications were announced on 8 June 2018 and Google also announced it is extending the program to include startups from a further 11 African countries.
This means it is now accepting applications from startups in 17 countries across the continent including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Sénégal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and the existing six – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda.
Class 2 was announced on 27 August and comprises 11 startups from six countries.
In alphabetical order, they 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.
Class 3 will kick off in 2019.