Last year in July Google launched the US$3 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, which is part of Google’s racial equity commitments announced in June 2020.
Fifty founders were awarded equity-free funding in October, and for the second edition Google has announced it will increase its commitment with an additional US$1 million in funding, and support for 10 more founders this year. This will result in a commitment of US$4 million to 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa.
The Black Founders Fund Africa is open to startups that meet the eligibility criteria in Botswana, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. While these 13 countries are the prime focus due to their active tech and startup ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries will also be considered.
Selected startups will receive between US$50,000 and US$100,000 non-dilutive cash awards, and up to US$200,000 per startup in Google Cloud credits, support in the form of training, and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling the challenges unique to each startup. Applications close on May 31, and the winners will be announced on July 29.
“The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation in underserved areas. Black-led tech startups face an unfair venture capital funding environment and that is why we are committed to helping them thrive, grow to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region. The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led startups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa,” said Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of the startup ecosystem for Sub-Saharan Africa at Google.
“We are hopeful that the support received by the black founders will enable them to grow their business and in turn drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities,”
In 2021, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund invested $3M into 50 Black led-startups in Africa. Since then, the selected startups have gone on to raise $73M+ in follow-on funding, hired more staff, and grown their revenues.
Through the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, Google is supporting early-stage, Black-founded startups on the continent. They want to bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape.
This non-dilutive $4M fund is allocated across a pipeline of 60 investable startups in Africa. Applications for the latest $4M Black Founders Fund in Africa are now open until May 31st (23:59 GMT). Find out more and apply below. Founders will receive up to $100K in equity-free cash, up to an additional $200K in Google Cloud Credits, and access to the best of Google—people, products, and practices.