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.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 1 to Class 5

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

Country Startup Description
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

Country Startup Description
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

Country Startup Description
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

Country Startup Description
Nigeria AppZone Builds Software as a service (SaaS) for digital banks, allowing them to reduce operational costs while improving service delivery
Ghana Chalkboard Education Allows educational institutions to make their curricula available via mobile devices (USSD, SMS, and mobile internet)
Kenya Cloud9xp An online marketplace and booking service for leisure experiences
Uganda EzyAgric On-demand platform providing inclusive and data-driven access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers and agribusinesses
Nigeria Formplus Allows companies to collect online and offline data through the use of customisable digital forms
Nigeria Medsaf A curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies
Egypt Mintrics A social video intelligence platform
Kenya PayGo Energy A smart meter and connected software service
South Africa Pineapple Uses machine learning technology to allow users to insure their valuables via a mobile app
Nigeria Wella Health A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high quality disease-care
South Africa Preeva An online learning platform that connects students with young educators
Nigeria Thank U Cash 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

Google for Startups Accelerator Class 1 produced 12 alumni; the inaugural class.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 1

Country Startup Description
Nigeria Babymigo A trusted social community for expecting mothers and young parents
Kenya Flexpay An automated and secured layaway e-commerce system
Nigeria Kudi Payment for Africa through messaging
Nigeria OkadaBooks A social platform that allows users to create, spread and sell their stories, books and documents
Ghana OMG Digital A media platform that produces hyper-local, engaging and entertaining content that African millennials love to consume and share
Kenya Pezesha Peer to Peer microlending marketplace
Nigeria Piggybank (now Piggyvest) Allows Africans to put aside little amounts of money periodically till they reach a savings target
Nigeria Riby Finance A peer-to-peer banking platform for cooperatives and their members
South Africa swiftVEE A platform that connects livestock agencies with a network of buyers and sellers
Tanzania TangoTV A media streaming and video-on-demand service for African local content
Uganda Teheca Helps families and individuals to find the right health care providers and workers
Nigeria Thrive Agric Crowdfunds investments for small holder farmers and provide inputs, tech driven advisory and access to market for them

Before Google launched the Africa-focused accelerator programme, African startups participated in the global Accelerator programme. They can be class zero

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 0

Country Startup Description
South Africa JUMO A financial services marketplace for emerging markets
Nigeria Delivery Science Develops mobile forms to help large organisations get field data
Nigeria Gidi Mobile Limited A mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning and social gamification to deliver personal advancement
Nigeria Flutterwave Builds technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa
Nigeria Paystack Helps businesses in Africa to accept payments from their customers
Kenya Twiga Foods A sourcing and distribution platform that replaces informal wholesale markets for fast-moving consumer goods