Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 5 has been announced. Rather than the usual 12 startups selected twice a year, this cohort is a combined class of 20 startups and it could be the last.
The programme will run for the regular duration of three months, but it will be the first online Google for Startups Accelerator Africa. There’ll be one week of 'virtual Bootcamp’ per month starting from June 29 to September 11, 2020.
Earlier in April, Google for Startups Accelerator on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also announced that its inaugural cohort of 11 startups would be fully remote. Google for Startups Accelerator on the SDGs, launched in November 2019, is a six-month accelerator programme open to social impact companies from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nigerian healthtech startup, mDoc, and Kenyan startups, Flare and Solar Freeze, are part of the inaugural class.
Google described this switch to online programmes as "adapting to this new normal" caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Despite phasing out of the one-month total lockdown that started on March 29, conferences, meetings and demo day have continued to be held online in Nigeria, too.
Nigerian startups account for 40% of the 20 startups in Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 5. These startups are CredPal, Crop2Cash, Curacel, Festival Coins, Judy, Send, Stears and The Smarthub.
Kenya and South Africa, the other two leading tech hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa, account for 30% and 10% of the startups in Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 5, respectively.
The other 12 startups are Adi+Bolga (Ghana), AmiTruck (Kenya), Beamm (South Africa), BuuPass (Kenya), Crediation (Kenya), Franc (South Africa) Ilara Health (Kenya), Kaoun (Tunisia), Thumeza (Zimbabwe), Uzapoint (Kenya) Zayride (Ethiopia), and Zuka Data Science (Kenya).
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa gives African startups access to the best of Google — its people, network and advanced technologies — and help them to build great products. As part of the three-month accelerator programme, startups receive:
- Equity-free support
- Intensive mentorship from Silicon Valley experts and top professionals from across Africa
- Public relations training and access to global media
- Partnership opportunities with Google for the duration for the Accelerator
Formerly known as Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa was launched in 2017 when the then-CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, visited Nigeria for the first time for the maiden edition of Google for Nigeria event. Before then, African startups competed for space in the Global Launchpad Accelerator Programme. Six African startups, four of whom were Nigerian, participated in the Global Launchpad Accelerator.
Tidbit: Google for Startups was launched in 2011 to help startups across the world succeed by giving them access to the best of Google's products, connections, and best practices.
Onajite Emerhor, Head of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, said, "Our commitment to supporting innovative startups in Africa remains strong. Especially now more than ever, running a startup requires innovative thinking, mentorship and collaboration".
However, Google Accelerator Africa Class 5 could be the last cohort of the programme that has produced 53 alumni-startups from across Africa. Google’s Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, had said in 2017 that the accelerator programme would run for three years.
"Based on our global Launchpad Accelerator program, this initiative will provide more than $3 million (₦1.1 billion) equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years", the country manager said, announcing the launch of the programme.
As of press time, Google has refused to comment and provide clarification.
Meanwhile, earlier this year in January, Google launched its first Developer Space in Africa. The Developer Space, co-located with Impact Hub in Ikoyi, Lagos, serves as a hub for the Accelerator Africa programme. "Alumni, mentors and Google developer experts can use the Space for their office hours, training, hot desks, open house, and similar client engagements", Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager in West Africa, told benjamindada.com.
"Third-party groups can also host their tech-related activities such as hackathons, digital training, study jams, code labs, startups Bootcamps, and mentoring sessions at the [Developer] Space free of charge".
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Hall of Fame: Class 5 to Class 1
In addition to the 20 startups in Class 5, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa has supported 67 startups.
In the following we list all the startups that participated in Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, from Class 1 to Class 5 and the six African startups that participated in the Global Launchpad Accelerator before Google launched a Africa-focused programme.
These are the 20 startups in Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 5:
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 5
|Ghana||Adi+Bolga||Uses technology to provide virtual skincare consultations and accurate personalised product recommendations to consumers|
|Kenya||Amitruck||A digital platform that seeks to bring trust, transparency and efficiency to logistics by using technology to connect cargo owners and transporters|
|South Africa||Beamm||Allows users to make Hollywood-style computer-generated imagery (CGI) and visual effects videos with ease|
|Kenya||BuuPass||Works with transport operators to provide digital solutions that seamlessly facilitate convenient and reliable movement of commuters|
|Kenya||Crediation||Empowers tech startups to lend to their customers|
|Nigeria||CredPal||Develops consumer credit infrastructure to ease credit purchase, enabling retail businesses to provide on-demand credit for consumers in Africa|
|Nigeria||Crop2Cash||A platform that enables farmers to pay, get paid, access agricultural credit via USSD while assuring financial institutions of their lending capital|
|Nigeria||Curacel||A claims and fraud detection platform for African insurers|
|Nigeria||Festival Coins||A suite of tools to help event organizations produce better events, with features including online ticketing, access control, cashless payments, and event reporting|
|South Africa||Franc||An investment app that provides access to the best cash and equity funds without minimums or restrictions|
|Kenya||Ilara Health||Brings essential diagnostic support and software products to patients and healthcare providers|
|Nigeria||Judy||A comprehensive database of African case law and legislation|
|Tunisia||Kaoun||Enables unbanked and underbanked individuals and businesses have access to financial services through identification, payment and credit solutions|
|Nigeria||Send||Digital Freight forwarder and customs broker for Africa|
|Nigeria||Stears||A trusted provider of high-quality African information that improves decisionmaking|
|Nigeria||The Smarthub||SaaS (Software as a Service) for hospitals, and a digital hospital with many physical locations and more than 200 doctors with its own ambulance hailing service|
|Zimbabwe||Thumeza||A next-generation logistics platform using data to optimise the logistics function for enterprises|
|Kenya||Uzapoint||An enterprise resource planning tool that enhances the efficiency, profitability and business intelligence of small scale reatil businesses|
|Ethiopia||Zayride||Provides reliable, timely and safe cab services using technologically-enabled dispatch systems and integrated mobile money systems for payment|
|Kenya||Zuka Data Science||A blended learning platform with engaging data ccience programmes designed by experts to enable individuals and organisations at all levels become data fluent|
Google for Startups Accelerator Class 4 produced 12 alumni
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 4
|Nigeria||Afara Partners||Offers platforms that provide services to the financially underserved or excluded|
|South Africa||BrandBook||A mobile app that incentives users to take a picture of their receipts, allowing it to harvest consumer purchase behaviour across all channels|
|Kenya||Elewa||A toolkit for establishing scalable high-quality training programmes within existing education or professional institutions|
|Uganda||Eversend||A multi-currency e-wallet that allows users to exchange, spend and send money at the best possible rates. It also includes insurance, virtual debit cards, and bill payments|
|Ghana||OZÉ||Brings African small businesses into the digital era, equipping their owners to make data-driven decisions to improve their performance and access capital|
|Zimbabwe||Phenomenal Technologies||Offers low-cost field excursions for learners through virtual reality|
|Nigeria||Reach||Recognises, categorises and interprets transaction data from SMS and other sources, making this data available as individual financial and market insights|
|South Africa||Sortd||Aims to re-invent email with the world’s first All-in-One productivity suite for Gmail and GSuite|
|Nigeria||Trade Buza||A cloud-based web and mobile application that digitises contract farming and trade|
|Kenya||Tulaa||An online-to-offline marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa|
|Nigeria||Xend||Allows users to make and receive payments, offline or online|
|Kenya||WorkPay||A cloud-based employee management and payment solution using the power of mobile and biometrics|
Google for Startups Accelerator Class 3 also produced 12 alumni.
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 3
|Nigeria||54Gene||Improves drug discovery by researching multiple genetically diverse African population|
|Kenya||Data Integrated Limited||Automates and digitises SME payments, connecting the street to high finance|
|Egypt||Instadiet.me||Connects patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians online to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight|
|Kenya||Kwara||Provides digital banking platform to established fair lenders with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem|
|Kenya||OkHi||A physical addressing platform for emerging markets|
|Senegal||PAPS||A logistics startup with a strong client-care orientation and focused on last mile delivery in the domestic market|
|Nigeria||ScholarX||An education startup that connects high potential students with funding opportunities to help them advance in their studies|
|Kenya||Tambua Health Inc.||The Tambua App turns a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia|
|South Africa||Vocyc.ai||Helps companies to understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, personas and customer journey maps|
|Nigeria||Wella Health||A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high quality disease-care|
|South Africa||Zelda Learning||Provides free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and then links them to funding and study opportunities|
|Uganda||Swipe2pay||A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs|
Google for Startups Accelerator Class 2 produced 12 alumni.
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 2
Google for Startups Accelerator Class 1 produced 12 alumni; the inaugural class.
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 1
Before Google launched the Africa-focused accelerator programme, African startups participated in the global Accelerator programme. They can be class zero