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Startups raise millions, accelerate African economies

Startups raise millions, accelerate African economies

from MTHULISI SIBANDA in Johannesburg, South Africa
South Africa Bureau
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News)THE 82 startups that benefitted from the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme have raised $112 million (R1.8 billion) and created 2 800 direct jobs in 17 countries over the past four years.

During that period, Google has invested US$5 million through a combination of equity-free funding and product credits for Google services.

The company has announced the participants in Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 7.

The selected startups are developing solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, fleet management, logistics automation and recruiting.

This seventh class includes 15 tech startups from seven African countries, with Ivory Coast joining for the first time.

Others are from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

The class was selected from thousands of applications, with final selection based on product stage, program alignment and market fit.

“We’re thrilled to be starting off our seventh cohort with such a diverse and inspiring group of companies who are harnessing technology to tackle the problems that many people on the continent face every day,” said Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa.

Aiyegbusi said startups in Africa were solving some of the region’s most pressing issues -from employment to logistics, banking, healthcare, and education.

“This is a journey that we’re happy to be on,” the official said.

Over the next three months, the startups will work with Google mentors and facilitators learning best practices on a range of topics including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, organisational culture and growth strategies.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programmes are organised around a virtual bootcamp concept that includes seminars, one-on-one coaching sessions, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

Bootcamps will take place in March, April and May.

– CAJ News

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