Artificial intelligence-based startups in financial services, agriculture and education dominated the fourth batch of Google‘s Africa Launchpad Accelerator program.
The U.S. tech giant’s African accelerator has already seen three classes graduate, and the latest batch of 12 promising African startups has just begun the three-month program in Lagos, according to Google.
The chosen tech firms are three startups from Kenya, four from Nigeria, two from South Africa and one from Ghana, Uganda, and Zimbabwe respectively.
The Google Launchpad Accelerator space in Nigeria is the first onsite location for the program outside of the U.S.
The 12 African tech startups will receive three months of mentorship and support from Google, three weeks all-expenses-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa in Lagos or Nairobi, and access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors during and after the program.
Google claims to raise the profile of the startups it supports. Many go on to raise investment from other investors on the back of this program.
The 35 startups from the first three classes created 505 direct jobs and raised more than $28 million before, during and after participating in Google Launchpad.
The tech giant will provide an equity-free investment at the end of the program, with each of the 12 participating startups receiving $10,000 from Google upon completion of the Launchpad Accelerator.
The four selected Nigerian startups include fintech firms Reach, Xend and Afara Partners, as well as cloud-based agritech platform TradeBuza.
From South Africa, BrandBook is a mobile app for storing receipts while Sortd is an all-in-one productivity suite for Gmail and GSuite.
Kenya’s three startups are Elewa, a toolkit for establishing scalable high-quality training programs; Tulaa, an online-to-offline marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa and WorkPay, cloud-based mobile employee management and payment solution.
Other startups are Eversend is a multi-currency e-wallet from Ugandan, Zimbabwe’s Phenomenal Technologies, which offers low-cost field excursions for learners through virtual reality and OZE, a Ghanaian data insights company that helps businesses make data-driven financial decisions and achieve growth to improve their performance.