4th Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class Graduates, Raises $4.3M In Investment

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Google Launchpad Accelerator
Tech startups in the fourth class of the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program created more than 300 jobs and attracted $4.3 million in investment. Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s fourth class. Image: Google

Twelve tech startups have graduated from the fourth Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa class in Lagos, raising $4.3 million in funding before and during the program.

U.S. tech giant Google said startups in the fourth class, which took place from September to November 2019 , created more than 300 jobs and their products and services have attracted 110,000 users, according to a Google blog post.

The 12 startups raised $600,000 of the $4.3 million before the program began.

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The $4.3 million represents the smallest investment of the first four classes to graduate from Google’s African accelerator program. 

By comparison, the third class that graduated in June 2019 raised close to $9 million during the course of the program, directly creating more than 120 jobs.

Google did not explain the discrepancy in funding between classes 3 and 4 — though some of the newly graduated tech startups could still add to that initial collective investment amount following a final week in Lagos that was spent pitching to global investors and venture capitalists.

But the fourth class, which was dominated by artificial intelligence-based startups in financial services, agriculture and education, may still have reason to be positive about its ability to raise investment.

Startups in artificial intelligence usually attract 15 percent to 50 percent more funding than other tech firms, according to Forbes.

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s fourth class

The graduates of the fourth cohort included Nigerian fintech firms Reach, Xend and Afara Partners, as well as Nigerian cloud-based agritech platform TradeBuza.

From South Africa, BrandBook is a mobile app for storing receipts while Sortd is an all-in-one productivity suite for Gmail and GSuite, ITNewsAfrica reported.

Kenya had three startups in the cohort. Elewa is a toolkit for establishing scalable high-quality training programs. Tulaa is an online-to-offline marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa. WorkPay is a cloud-based mobile employee management and payment solution.

The remaining startups included Ugandan multi-currency e-wallet Eversend, Zimbabwean virtual reality edtech firm Phenomenal Technologies and Ghanaian data insights company, OZE.

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa has committed to offering $3 million in equity-free funding to more than 60 startups across the continent between 2018 and 2020, PCTechmag reported.

The program includes mentorship, working space, travel, public relations support, and access to tech and business experts from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa.

The 23 startups from classes 1 and 2 of the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program created 385 direct jobs and raised more than $19 million before, during and after participating in Google Launchpad. 

Applications are now open for the fifth class in 2020.