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Google to invest in 23 Nigerian startups

Google has announced that it will be investing $4m into 60 Black-led startups in 2022, with 23 Nigerian startups to benefit from the funding.

Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem, Folarin Aiyegbusi said the startups will also receive ongoing hands-on business and technical mentorship from Google’s network of mentors and facilitators.

Nigerian startups make up a third of the 2022 cohort and constituted half of last year’s from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Botswana were also funded.

The 100-plus companies from both cohorts are spread across various sectors including food, media, and travel, but the majority are in fintech, logistics, and healthcare.

For the second year, Google is giving out equity-free money of between $50,000 and $100,000 to black founders of early-stage startups in Africa, raising the number of beneficiaries from 50 to 60.

The benefitting countries include: Nigeria 23, Kenya 12, Rwanda 6, South Africa 5, Uganda 4, Cameroon 3 and Ghana 3.

Others are, Ethiopia 2, Botswana 1 and Senegal 1.

Google notes that its Black Founders Fund is a commitment to investing in black entrepreneurs, following the wave of concern in 2020 after the George Floyd protests in the US that venture capitalists disproportionately focused on white founders.

Reacting to the development, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi says Nigeria is now a global supplier of tech talents.

“This kind of initiative will help us create more talents in the country, because it is the people’s component of technology”, the Abdullahi said.

Writing by Marian Benajmin; Editing by Muzha Kucha