Google Invests N183.6m in Four Nigerian Tech Startups


Emma Okonji

Google has announced its intention to invest a whopping $600,000 (N183.6 million) in four Nigerian tech startups, under the Google fourth Class of Launchpad Accelerator programme.

The startups were selected from Nigeria to join other selected technology startups from Kenya and South Africa, including other selected technology startups from countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Although the Google Launchpad Accelerator programme has been ongoing for some years, this is the first time that Google is extending the initiative to Africa.

Among the three African countries to benefit from the Google Launchpad Accelerator programme, four were selected from Nigeria, while one was selected from Kenya and one from South Africa.

The four selected Nigerian tech startups include Delivery Science, which is a mobile platform that helps large organisations get field data; Gidi Mobile Limited, which is a mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning and social gamification to deliver personal advancement, in a fun way, and at unprecedented scale; Flutterwave, which is building technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa starting with Rave, an app that helps merchants accept mobile money, cards and bank account payments across four African countries; and the fourth is Paystack, which is a platform that helps businesses in Africa accept payments from their customers.

Each tech startup is expected to get $50,000 in cash and $100,000 platform credits for Google products. They will work closely with Google for six months for mentorship, and another two weeks of all-expense-paid training at Google headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley. Each of the selected startups will in addition, get equity-free support, access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, as well as marketing spotlight opportunities.

Part of the statement released by Google read: “This time around, startups from Asia and Latin America will be joined by peers from Africa and Europe. In addition to expanding our reach, we are also expanding our curriculum. We will help the startups dig deeper into machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to help them leverage Google’s latest technologies to scale their apps.”

The Launchpad Accelerator includes intensive mentoring from over 20 Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the six months mentorship programme.

The Google Class 4 Launchpad Accelerator programme, commences July 17th, 2017 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco and will include two weeks of all-expense-paid training.

The Accelerator will leverage all that Google has to offer, to help participating tech startups reach their true potential. Launchpad Accelerator currently works with startups in Latin America such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico and Asia, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.