Ghanaian Fintech Startup To Feature In Google’s Global Machine Learning Program

Ghanaian Fintech Startup To Feature In Google’s Global Machine Learning Program


Ghanaian fintech startup Inclusive Financial Technologies has been chosen among a group of 10 tech startups to take part in Google‘s machine learning acceleration program.

The Accra-based tech company made it onto a shortlist of 10 global startups that have been invited to the Google Launchpad Studio‘s applied machine learning acceleration program for fintech startups, according to Ventureburn.

Inclusive was the only African startup chosen to take part in the program, with the other nine startups coming from the U.S., Singapore, India, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil and the U.K.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Paul Damalie and CTO Dela Ayivor, the identity verification startup has developed a single identity verification programming interface that financial service providers use to secure regulatory compliance.

machine learning
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google AI conference. Photo – AP – Jeff Chiu

The program is currently taking place in San Francisco. Each of the 10 startups will paired with a Google product manager to accelerate their product development, working alongside Google’s machine learning research and development teams.

Launchpad Studio provides one-on-one mentoring and access to Google’s people, network, thought leadership, and technology, the company says.

Google investing in Africa’s artificial intelligence development

In June Google announced that it will establish an artificial intelligence research center in the Ghanaian capital later this year — a first for the company on the continent, according to Quartz.

Expert machine learning researchers and engineers will work together at the new AI research center in Accra which will be dedicated to artificial intelligence research and its applications in a wider African context.

The research center will focus on using artificial intelligence applications in areas that include healthcare, agriculture and education.

Google has been focused on deriving value from AI for some time, and their investment in researching the technology and making it available as a field of study for young Africans is evidence of how important they believe it to be.

Google spent $30 billion on artificial intelligence research in 2016, according to Forbes.

Machine learning master’s in Rwanda

At the beginning of August the U.S. tech giant partnered with Facebook and The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) to offer a master’s degree in artificial intelligence.

The one-year African master’s in machine intelligence (AMMI) will be available at the AIMS-Rwanda campus in Kigali from September, according to ITNewsAfrica.

For the moment, the artificial intelligence course will only be available in Rwanda, as a result of the institute’s partnership with Google and Facebook.

The social media and search engine companies are getting involved as they aim to nurture a globally connected community of machine intelligence practitioners in Africa that will assist in reducing the technology gap, boosting the continent’s economies and enabling better governance.

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa welcomes second class

In August Google announced the next cohort of 11 tech startups that will participate in its second Launchpad Accelerator Africa class in Lagos and Johannesburg, according to Ventureburn.

Following the successful conclusion of the first Google Africa Launchpad Accelerator program in June, 11 startups were selected from a total of six countries. Startups throughout Africa took advantage of this, with over 250 applications coming in from 11 nations around the continent.

AppZone, Formplus, Medsaf and Thank U Cash are the startups chosen from Nigeria, while Pineapple and Preeva are the South African participants, according to ITWeb.

Other early-stage startups in the class include Cloud9xp and PayGo Energy from Kenya, Chalkboard Education from Ghana, EzyAgric from Uganda, and Mintrics from Egypt.

The startups, which have been selected because they are focused on solving unique African problems, are currently undergoing a three-month program in the Nigerian and South African cities, with Google providing mentorship, working space, travel, public relations support, and access to tech and business experts from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa.