East Africa is set to be represented by three startups from Uganda and Kenya at Google launchpad accelerator Africa class 2. The second Launchpad Accelerator Africa class is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent.
The three startups from East Africa include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” says Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa. “We’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year, while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent.”
For the second-class Google extended applications to an additional 11 countries, competition for spots was even fiercer than the first time around. Google received more than 250 applications, including from graduates of previous Launchpad programmes, with others referred to the programme by Launchpad mentors.
The other 8 finalists include:
- 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.
- 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.
- Formplus (Nigeria): Formplus 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
- Medsaf (Nigeria): Medsaf is a one-stop, curated medication marketplace for African hospitals and pharmacies.
- 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.
- Pineapple (South Africa): Pineapple’s unique machine learning technology allows users to easily insure individual items using just a mobile app.
- Preeva (South Africa): Preeva is an online platform that connects students with young educators who provide tutoring help at school and university.
- 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.
The finalists each receive:
3 months intense mentorship and support from Google, Cloud and Firebase Credits, three weeks all-expense-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa (Lagos and Johannesburg), Access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, during and after the programme and Inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors
“We’ve been committed for years to helping local businesses thrive online, as they are meaningful and crucial partners in our ecosystem,“ says Google Nigeria country director, Juliet Ehimuan. “Through our different initiatives, we’ve helped to get tens of thousands of small businesses online, and helped them succeed. We’re incredibly proud of how Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 1 contributed to that legacy and can’t wait to see how Class 2 further builds on it.”