Google’s Launchpad Accelerator is looking to pick up its first Africa start-ups and is calling for applications from outfits in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The six-month acceleration programme includes the usual mentorship offering, as well as access to Google Product Managers, plus a start-up package of equity-free support and credits to services such as Google Cloud.
There’s also access to a range of Launchpad initiatives and ‘connections’, among them an all-expenses-paid trip to Google HQ in Mountain View to collaborate with the company’s engineers, product managers and regional VCs.
Google says Launchpad Accelerator is aimed at companies that already have a product and are ready to scale in their respective countries and around the world. The accelerator is part of Google Developers Launchpad, Google Developers' central tech start-up initiative and aims to design, develop and distribute participants’ innovations.
African start-ups raised $366.8 million in 2016, up from $276.5 million in the previous year, according to Partech Ventures. Nigeria led the pack, picking 30% of the total investment, while Francophone Africa kept snagged 10%. Financial outfits accounted for 56% of the total investment in 28 transactions, while online and mobile consumer services got 41% (36 transactions).