For These 12 African Tech Startups, Google Launchpad Accelerator Could Be A Game-Changer

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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These 12 African tech startups will receive three months of mentorship and support from Google, three weeks all-expenses-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa in Lagos or Nairobi, and access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors during and after the program.

The 12 selected companies were chosen for the third cohort of the Google Launchpad Accelerator.

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Google does not receive any equity in the selected companies as it does not make direct investments during the three-month program, with all support during that period offered equity-free.

The tech giant will provide an equity-free investment at the end of the program, with each of the participating startups receiving $10,000 from Google upon completion of the Launchpad Accelerator.

Google supports early-stage startups with mentorship, training and networking, helping the startups to build credibility and attract investment indirectly from others.

Google claims to raise the profile of the startups it supports. Many go on to raise investment from other investors on the back of this program.

The 11 startups from the second class of Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator in 2018 created 253 jobs and raised more than $12 million before and during the program, according to Ventureburn.

The Google Africa Launchpad Accelerator program could be a game-changer for these 12 African tech startups in its third class:

Data Integrated Limited

Kenyan company Data Integrated Limited is a fintech firm that specializes in automating and digitizing end-to-end enterprise payment solutions that small businesses can use. In 2018 it was selected as one of the regional winners of the MEST Africa Challenge, run by Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator based in Ghana, according to Ventureburn.

Instadiet.me

Google has also chosen to include Egyptian startup Instadiet.me, which connect patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight online, according to Google. The health-tech startup is the only company chosen from North Africa in this third cohort.

54Gene

54Gene is Africa’s answer to popular DNA genetic testing and analysis company 23andMe. Data from Africa is still fairly limited in this regard, and as such, the company aims to detect and identify DNA markers that are yet to command the necessary focus and study. The startup was founded in 2018 by CTO Ogochukwu Francis Osifo, CPO Gatumi Aliyu, Damilola Oni and CEO Abasi Ene-Obong, who has a PhD in cancer biology from the University of London, according to LinkedIn.

Kwara

Kenyan startup Kwara describes itself as a “customer experience platform for fair lenders”. The company provides a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives, offering an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem, according to Businesstoday.

OkHi

One of four Kenyan companies in this cohort, OkHi is a physical addressing platform designed for emerging markets. Many people do not have a physical address, and this company aims to give those people a means to acquire an address through their app, enabling logistics such as deliveries or even emergency response through location technology, according to their website.

PAPS

A representative from Francophone Africa,PAPS is a Senegalese logistics startup focused on last mile delivery and the domestic market. The company is using tech to forge its path in the market with elements such as live tracking, an intelligent addressing system and automatic dispatch available to PAPS users, according to Ventureburn.

Google Launchpad Accelerator
Google Africa Launchpad Accelerator selects promising startups. Photo – Google

ScholarX

A list of this nature would not be complete without the inclusion of an edtech company. Nigeria’s ScholarX connects students with much-needed financing opportunities to help them access an education. The app-based company that helps students to find scholarships received $40,000 in funding from Cape Town-based e-learning incubator Injini in 2018, according to DisruptAfrica.

Swipe2pay

Ugandan fintech platform Swipe2pay is a web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for small and medium-sized businesses by making it easier for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment. On a continent that has embraced mobile, this business model makes great sense, allowing users to effectively run their business from their mobile phone, according to their website.

Tambua Health Inc.

Kenyan health-tech startup Tambua Health Inc.‘s innovative solution converts a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for tuberculosis and pneumonia. The platform’s technology makes it possible to produce a diagnostic report using a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information, according to Techtrendske.

Voyc.ai

South Africa’s Voyc.ai is a CX research platform that helps companies to better understand their customers through data, converting their customer research into insights, profiles, and customer journey maps for deeper analysis. Voyc.ai was chosen as part of the 2018 class of SAP.iO Foundry, a program in Germany focused on B2B and enterprise companies powered by Techstars.

WellaHealth

WellaHealth is a Nigerian pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high-quality disease care driven by artificial intelligence. The health-tech startup is particularly interested in the treatment of malaria, which remains a major threat in many parts of Africa, according to ITNewsAfrica. WellaHealth also helps pharmacies to build clientele and revenue through the online platform.

Zelda Learning

South African startup Zelda Learning is a scholarship management platform that students can access for free. Zelda helps organizations find and filter talented youth to support through their university careers, providing free online career guidance while connecting them to funding and study opportunities, according to Ventureburn.