Google Africa recently finished an intensive three-month Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme. Launched in Lagos, Nigeria, this was the first cohort of Google Developers Launchpad on the African continent.
The programme consisted of 12 startups from six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda), 35 founders and over 4.5-million users impacted. The groups received $120,000 in equity-free funding from Google and raised another $7-million in funds. 40 mentors were on hand, ensuring each of the startups received the support necessary to get through the “high touchpoints”, or boot camps, which took place over three months.
In total, the startups have created 132 jobs spanning four industries: 41 percent finance, 25 percent media, 17 percent agritech and 17 percent health.
Kudi is one of the startups being supported. The company allows people to send money and pay bills online via multiple channels: web, messaging, mobile apps and a network.
OkadaBooks, allows African users to get their work published quickly, fusing the simplicity of blogging with e-commerce and lets authors be paid directly into their bank accounts.
Teheca, is a health-tech company using mobile technology ensuring a better experience for mothers during pregnancy, delivery and postnatally. They provide individually tailored care plans for women, linking healthcare practitioners and caregivers to mothers and empowering women to make informed decisions.
In agritech, ThriveAgric, connects farmers to buyers through crowdfunding initiatives. Here again, the focus is on spreading knowledge and allowing farmers to make informed decisions, optimising their yield based on the startup’s data.
Africa is ready to start being a key player in the digital revolution. This programme has seen innovative solutions tackling some of the major socioeconomic issues facing the continent. Africa’s time is now.