Applications for Google For Startups Black Founders Fund Second Cohort Open

Applications open for Google for Startups Black Founders Fund for Africa

Google for Startup’s Black Founders Fund

In October last year, Google launched its Google for Startups Black Founders Fund for Africa, in its bid to close the racial gaps in funding globally. Over 50 founders were selected for that first cohort, with a collective investment of over $3 million by Google for Startups. The startups went on to raise over $73 million+ in follow-on funding, and have utilized these to fuel their businesses.

These startups also enjoyed benefits in participation in Google’s Ad Grant program, cloud credits, and support from experienced experts at the tech company. These commitments were on the back of Google’s $1 billion commitment over the next five years to support connectivity in Africa as well as up-and-coming startups on the continent.

In furtherance of these efforts, Google for Startups has announced that it has opened applications for the second cohort of its Black Founders Fund for Africa. The tech giant is increasing its commitment with an additional $1m in funding for eligible startups.

For this cohort, Google for Startups is offering over $4 million to 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa. Speaking on the news, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, SSA, at Google points out,

The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation in underserved areas. Black-led tech startups face an unfair venture capital funding environment and that is why we are committed to helping them thrive, grow to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region. The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led startups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.

Bridging the racial divide in funding opportunities

The Black Founders Fund for Africa is an integral part of Google’s racial equality commitments, with the pledge to enable a greater economic opportunity for Black founders on the continent.

These efforts have come hand in glove with Google’s commitments to fuelling the corollary growth of Africa’s developer ecosystem. Earlier in the year, the company had released its Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2022, which highlighted the phenomenal growth of the developer population by over 3.8 percent to a remarkable 716,000 across the continent. Google’s efforts in growing the developer ecosystem, and consequently the tech space in Africa is what motivated the launch of its first African Development Centre in Nairobi just last month.

Who’s eligible?

The Black Founders Fund for Africa will provide support to startups in the region in the form of equity-free cash assistance which will help them in catering to their operational needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licenses.

Eligibility for the Black Founders Fund captures early-stage startups with black founders or diverse founding teams; startups that are benefiting the black community; operating and headquartered in Africa, startups with a diverse founding team with at least one black founding member; those having a legal presence on the continent and are building innovative solutions for Africa and the global market; and those who have the growth potential to raise more funding and create jobs.

Startups will receive either $50,000 or $100,000, depending on each startup’s product development stage, current needs and how much they have already raised.

Click HERE to apply.

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