Meet The Startups Joining Google’s Black Founders Fund Africa

Google has announced that 60 new startups would join their Black Founders Fund, specifically designed to help support Black founders in Africa. 

Since launching the program in 2021, Google has invested in 50 startups from nine African countries, creating over 500 jobs and raising over $87 million to help support underrepresented founders. 

The Black Founders Fund has invested $20 million in funding to help founders across the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil.

The latest cohort will receive up to $100,000 in capital, including access to the best of Google, people, products, and practices. 

According to Google, in 2020, Black-led startups received less than 0.5% of capital investment which is why they decided to launch their investment program to help change the narrative. 

Nigerian startups dominate the Black Founders Fund list, with 23 startups hailing from the west African country, followed by Kenya with 12 startups and Rwanda with six.

Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem Africa, also reported that 50% of the selected startups are women-led businesses.

So let’s meet some of the Black-led African startups that secured Google’s backing.

Bookings Africa 

Bookings Africa founder Fadé Ogunro

Bookings Africa, founded by Fadé Ogunro in 2018, is a pan-African marketplace for the entertainment, media, and lifestyle industries. The Lagos-based startup enables seamless transactions between talent, businesses, and consumers from sourcing to payment and provides a safe, transparent, and cost-effective process for all users.  

Agrikool 

Zamokule Thwala, co-founder of Agrikool

Agrikool, co-founded by Zamokule Thwala in 2019, is a South African agri-tech platform on a mission to transform Africa’s agri-food systems by building an e-trading platform that directly connects products and buyers to a fair and reliable market. Agrikool’s mission is to help producers make more and retail buyers spend less. 

Ajua 

Kenyan startup Ajua,  formerly mSurvey, was founded by Kenfield Griffith in 2019. Their end-to-end operating system brings SMEs online to help them build a credible online presence, get feedback on their business, and manage customer relationships. 

BAG Innovation

BAG Innovation co-founders Gabriel Ekman and Yussouf Ntwai

BAG Innovation, co-founded by Gabriel Ekman and Yussouf Ntwai, is an online platform that applies Gamification to offer real-time access to experience-based learning for university students in East Africa. The Rwanda-based platform also provides access to experiential learning for university students and recent graduates.

BuuPass 

Iman Cooper, Leslie Ossete, and Sonia Kabra - BuuPass

BuuPass, co-founded in 2016 by Iman CooperLeslie Ossete, and Sonia Kabra, is Kenya’s first marketplace for bus, shuttle, and train bookings. BuuPass aims to provide seamless movement for people by delivering digital transport solutions to facilitate convenient movement for commuters. 

You can find the other founders joining Google for Startup’s Black Founders Fund Africa here.

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.