Kenyan startups in the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 graduate

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Kenyan startups PayGo Energy & Cloud9xp have graduated from the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 in Lagos. The initiative by Google is an attempt to support entrepreneurship.

Over the course of the 3 month program, 11 startups engaged with 48 mentors from 9 countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, UK, USA. The startups have also received $110,000 in equity-free funding from Google.

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced in July 2017 and will run until 2020. The program supports 10 – 12 startups per year which cumulatively receive $3m in equity-free funding, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the three years. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month program. Startups in 17 countries across the continent including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe are able to apply to participate in the program. The next class will open in 2019.

Additonally, Google has supported the Sub-Saharan Africa developer ecosystem since April 2016. It has hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country. It also runs programs such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like Study Jams – study groups for developers. There are some 140 communities across 25 countries in SSA. Some 61 of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching over 5 000 developers in the last year.

The 11 startups that participated in the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa include:

  1. Cloud9xp (Kenya): Cloud9xp is an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa and the Middle East.
  2. AppZone (Nigeria): AppZone builds Software as a service (SaaS) fintech software ecosystems for digital banks, allowing them to reduce operational costs while improving service delivery.
  3. Chalkboard Education (Ghana): Allows educational institutions to make their curricula available via mobile devices (USSD, SMS, and internet). It also lets those institutes gather insights about student learning patterns and helps them create and adapt curricula for the mobile space.
  4. PayGo Energy (Kenya): PayGo’s smart meter and connected software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better service their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
  5. EzyAgric (Uganda): EzyAgric is an on-demand platform that provides inclusive and data-driven access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers and agribusinesses in Uganda. It does so through a network of youth agents equipped with smartphones and other forms of agricultural technology, providing employment and helping farmers improve yields and market access in one go.
  6. Formplus (Nigeria): Allows companies to collect online and offline data through the use of customisable digital forms. The startup also provides analytics based on form answers and allows for payment collection via PayPal, Stripe and Flutterwave.
  7. Medsaf (Nigeria): Medsaf is a one-stop, curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies.
  8. Mintrics (Egypt): This social video intelligence platform helps brands and agencies understand how people are interacting with their social videos, giving them insight into what is and isn’t working and thereby maximising their ROI.
  9. Pineapple (South Africa): Pineapple’s unique machine learning technology allows users to easily insure individual items using just a mobile app.
  10. Preeva (South Africa): An online platform that connects students with young educators who provide extra help at school and university.
  11. Thank U Cash (Nigeria): Thank U Cash is an online rewards platform that allows consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can be swapped for cash and merchants to benefit from extra spend.
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