When Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited Lagos—Africa’s most valuable ecosystem—for the first time last year, he announced an array of plans, including Google’s Launchpad accelerator for African startups.
Google has announced the first set of 12 startups participating in its Launchpad Accelerator Africa class, modeled after the global program in Silicon Valley.
From Quartz. Story by Yomi Kazeem.
Six of the selected startups are Nigerian, two are Kenyan with one each from Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa
African startups Google is investing in
Maturing tech ecosystems across the continent have become a draw for global technology companies over the past three years as they position themselves to win a sizable share of the next billion users to come online.
In 2016, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made high-profile visits to Lagos and Nairobi, then last year, in addition to Pichai’s Lagos visit—Alibaba CEO Jack Ma stopped by Nairobi and Kigali.
Google’s Launchpad space is its first in Lagos. Facebook plans to launch a hub in Lagos in partnership with Co-Creation Hub this year. Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, the renowned entrepreneur training program originally launched in Ghana, has expanded to Lagos and Cape Town. Investors remain attracted to the continent’s promise. In 2017, startup venture funding jumped more than 50 percent in Africa to a record high.
Over a three-year period, Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa program will offer $3 million in equity-free funding to over 60 startups on the continent as well as provide mentor and technology support.
Read more at Quartz.
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