Google for Startups will give 25 African-based startups funding as part of its $4-million Black Founders Fund, including 3 South African startups.

The three South African startups chosen are Excel At Uni that supports student funders via digital services; HealthDart, a digital HMO providing end-to-end health services with insurance; and Zinacare, an online platform for accessible, affordable healthcare services.

Now it in third year, the Black Founders Fund is aimed towards helping the systemic racial inequality in the venture capital (VC) funding space by providing equity-free grants and mentorship to early stage black-led high-growth businesses across Europe and Africa, said Google in a release.

The 2023 cohort of 40 startups include 25 African startups that highlight Africa’s diverse entrepreneurial spirit, of which 72% are led or cofounded by women. The funding will allow these startups to elevate and expand to new markets, which ultimately leads to job creation and economic growth.

Each chosen startups will receive $150 000 in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200 000 in Google Cloud credits,  Ad support, 1:1 mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within Google’s network.

Full list of 25 African startups:

  • Akoma Health (Nigeria): Tech platform for accessible, culturally conscious mental health services in Africa.
  • BezoMoney (Ghana) : Digital banking for Africa’s underbanked via mobile/web platforms.
  • Chargel (Senegal): Digital trucking platform connecting shippers/carriers in Francophone West Africa.
  • Charis UAS (Rwanda): Provides 3D geospatial data via drone technology.
  • Evolve Credit (Nigeria): SaaS for digitising and managing banking services.
  • Excel At Uni (South Africa): Supports student funders via digital services.
  • EzyAgric (Uganda): AI-powered mobile technology to enhance Africa’s farming sector.
  • Fez Delivery (Nigeria): Last-mile logistics platform for various industries.
  • Fleetsimplify (Kenya): Monetization platform connecting gig drivers & vehicle owners.
  • HealthDart (South Africa): Digital HMO providing end-to-end health services with insurance.
  • Herconomy (Nigeria): Female-focused fintech aiming to be Africa’s first women’s bank.
  • Jumba (Kenya): Improving Kenya’s construction sector supply chain via B2B platform.
  • MDaaS Global (Nigeria): Tech-powered diagnostic centres for affordable healthcare.
  • My Pocket Counsel (Nigeria): Legal tech platform for contract generation and management.
  • Orda (Nigeria): Pan-African neobank for restaurants, offering cloud-based software.
  • Periculum (Nigeria): Data company aiding in credit assessment, fraud/churn risk.
  • Raenest (Nigeria): Fintech offering global financial services to freelancers/startups in Africa.
  • Ridelink (Uganda): E-logistics platform providing shipping and real-time tracking.
  • Susu (Côte d’Ivoire): Health platform providing healthcare services/insurance funded by African diaspora.
  • Talamus Health (Ghana): Tech solutions targeting healthcare inefficiencies in Africa.
  • TruQ (Nigeria): Streamlining mid-mile logistics across Africa with third-party vehicle connectivity.
  • Tushop (Kenya): Tech platform for group buying of daily essentials in Kenya.
  • Uzapoint (Kenya): Mobile/web POS for digitising bookkeeping in Africa’s informal sector.
  • Zinacare (South Africa): Online platform for accessible, affordable healthcare services.
  • Zydii (Kenya): Localised digital training solutions for African SMEs.

Google’s head of startups ecosystems in Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi, says:

Startups play a major role in advancing Africa’s digital transformation. We look forward to working with this group of innovative founders who are using technology to solve some of the most pressing challenges in Africa. The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is committed to addressing the stark inequality in VC funding by providing Black founders with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Since its inception, the Black Founders Fund has facilitated over $205 million in investor conversations, representing a 12-fold increase. This has sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding $6.1 million, marking a 7% increase, says Google.