Five Kenyan startups have been selected to join the Ksh 55.6 billion ($4m) Black Founders Fund by Google for Startups (GfS). These companies are among 40 from Europe and Africa to join the fund.
The Black Founders Fund targets to address systemic racial inequality in venture capital funding by providing equity-free grants and mentoring to early stage black-led high-growth businesses.
Fleetsimplify, Jumba, Tushop, Uzapoint and Zydii, are set to each receive up to $150,000 (Sh21 million) in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200,000 (Sh28 million) in Google Cloud credits, Ad support, mentoring by industry experts and connection building within Google’s network.
“Startups play a major role in advancing Africa’s digital transformation. We look forward to working with this group of innovative founders who are using technology to solve some of the most pressing challenges in Africa,” said Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google Head of Startups Ecosystem in Africa.
Now in its third year, the Black Founders Fund has since inception facilitated more than $205 million in investor conversations translating to a 12-fold increase.
“The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is committed to addressing the stark inequality in venture capital funding by providing black founders with the resources and support they need to succeed,” Aiyegbusi added.
According to Google, this has sparked significant growth within the participating startups, with their combined monthly recurring revenue now exceeding Ksh 847.9 million ($6.1 million) a 7pc increase.