June 17, 2022

Meet The Black-Owned Personalized Shopping Startup That Just Got Backed By Google

FoodLama has just announced it has been selected for Google’s second-ever Black Founders Fund cohort.

But how does the startup work? FoodLama is a free-to-install-and-use browser extension that makes online grocery shopping with preferences simple.

By taking into account your household’s individual allergies, preferences, and needs, FoodLama provides a personalized shopping experience as you scroll through your favorite grocer. So, you see the products to avoid as you shop and easily discover the best alternative recommendations.

Following its launch in 2021, Google’s Black Founders Fund will provide its 2022 cohort with up to $100K in equity-free cash, up to an additional $200,000 in Cloud Credits, and access to the best of Google—people, products, and best practices.

Chosen from hundreds of applicants and interviews, FoodLama will work directly with Google’s team of experts to increase diversity in tech and further enhance its allergy and dietary shopping extension.

Today, less than 0.5% of venture capital goes to Black-led startups. The Google Black Founders Fund aims to change this by providing access to mentorship, funding, and guidance.

Co-founder Damilare Ogunleye migrated to the UK just 14 months ago on a Technation Visa after being recognized for his exceptional digital talent.

He began his career working as a manufacturing engineer at Nestle, before transitioning to one of the leading advertising firms in Nigeria where he was responsible for up to $15 million marketing accounts of various brands including notable CPGs, Fintech, and Government, to name a few.

He then launched two e-commerce ventures in the past with multi-million dollar revenues.

Speaking about the opportunity, Damilare of FoodLama said: We are so excited by the immense opportunity that Google has provided to FoodLama. Just as Google has built a more inclusive world for people through technology, we can’t wait to make online grocery shopping accessible to all.”

Previously asked about the biggest piece of advice to other start-ups, he told Business Day, “Do not get fooled by the hype of how some entrepreneurs are succeeding and doing well and it looks like they have it easier. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Overnight success is sometimes the outcome of over 10 years of consistent handwork. So, keep putting your bit daily into your business. It may not look like what you are seeing, but in the end, it will make sense.

“However, as you do this, be very attentive to the market you are serving. The market is always talking, but are you listening and adapting to it?” he asks.

While 18-year-old co-founder Santiago Schmitt said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us – one that allows us to share what we’ve built with so many more people. International expansion is now on the cards as is further development of the browser extension.

“With the assistance of the Google team, we’ll be able to reach more people, have access to a wealth of knowledge from the Google mentors and be able to further develop the FoodLama extension.”

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.