Six Kenyan start-ups among 60 selected for Google's Sh479 million funding

Startups selected from Kenya include Ajua, BuuPass, DohYangu AND FlexPay. [iStockphoto]

Sixty black-founded start-ups across Africa have been selected for the second cohort of Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa.

The start-ups joining the programme will receive a total of $4million (Sh479.2 million) in funding and support to enable them to scale up. 

Among them are six Kenyan start-ups including Leja, Ajua, Keep It Cool, BuuPass, DohYangu and FlexPay.

Each of the selected start-ups will receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them. 

They will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks and community-building sessions. The 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of between Sh6 million and Sh12 million and up to Sh24 million in Google Cloud credit.

The grantees, made up of 50 per cent women-led businesses, hail from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agri-tech, education, hospitality and smart cities.

“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the BFF programme will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expatriate start-ups over local and black-led companies,’’ said Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launched in April 2012, the programme has created over 4,600 jobs and raised more than $290 million (Sh36 million) in funding. It will introduce the grantees to Google's products, connections, and best practices. 

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