Google’s Africa Investment Fund plans to invest up to $50 million in African early and growth-stage startups, stepping up efforts to assist more businesses on the continent.
Selected companies will be given access to Google’s employees, network and technologies, to help them build products.
Google unveiled its plans today at a virtual event, with CEO Sundar Pichai announcing the company’s aim to invest $1 billion in tech-led initiatives in Africa over the next five years.
What you should know
Until now, Google has met its commitments by supporting startups in Africa through its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program and the newly created Black Founders Fund.
Over 80 startups from seed to Series A have benefited from the accelerator program’s equity-free mentorship and resources over the last three years. Twiga, Paystack, and Piggyvest are among the 80+ businesses selected into the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, which has generated over $100 million in venture financing.
The Black Founders Fund provides non-dilutive financial awards to black-led companies in three regions. The Black Founders Fund manages a $5 million fund in the United States, a $3 million fund in Africa, and a $2 million fund in Europe.
So far, 50 startups have been chosen to take part in the Africa program, which will begin on October 13th. Each will receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, as well as Google Cloud credits, Google.org ad grants, and other resources.
What they are saying
Nithin Gajria, the managing director of Sub-Saharan Africa, Google, said “There is a significant gap in terms of access to funding. Some groups do not have access to funding as much as other groups. We’ve seen that with black and female-founded startups. And our effort with the Black Founders Fund is to help close that gap to some extent.”
The newly announced $50 million Africa Investment Fund will see Google take equity in high-growth African startups in exchange for varying check sizes.