Two Kenyan startups, Cloud9xp and PayGo Energy, are part of the 11 startups that graduated from Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program. The ceremony was staged in Lagos, Nigeria.
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, whereas PayGo Energy’s smart meter and connected software service enables players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better serve their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
The training program started three months ago. Besides Kenya, additional startups and mentors were from other 8 countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, UK, USA.
The groups will receive $110,000 in equity-free financing from the search giant. Before today’s graduation, the startups’ founders had raised over $12 million.
The Africa-focused program was announced in July 2017 and is set to run until 2020. Yearly startup intake will feature 10 to 12 upcoming technology firms, representing an investment of $3 million in equity-free support, working space, as well as access to mentors and expert advisers from key the continent, Google and Silicon Valley. Additionally, the program reports that participants will receive travel and PR support during the 3-month training session.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent. We’re currently as a region creating about 3 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,” says Folagbade Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google.
The rest of the winners include Nigeria’s Thank U Cash, AppZone, Formplus and Medsaf; Uganda’s EzyAgric, South Africa’s Pineapple and Preeva; Egypt’s Mintrics; and lastly, Chalkboard Education of Ghana.
The next program will open in 2019, and interested parties from Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe can apply.