Google pledges $20m to African startups over next 5 years


Google has announced a $20 million funding for startups in Africa it says will run for the next 5 years.

The search giant made the announcement at the Google for Nigeria event that held at Four Points by Sheraton today in Lagos.

“We want to do more to support African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products.

“Based on our global Launchpad Accelerator program, this initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years.

“Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos—the program’s first location outside of the United States,” the Internet technologies firm said.

Google’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sundar Pichai, who was at the event said the Internet giant has added not less than 1,000 new addresses to areas like Ikeja and Ikoyi of Lagos State on Google Street View.

He said that the new additions would help improve address search experience in these areas.

 “The second addition is to buildings. Google also added detailed outlines of more than a million commercial business. This building footprint will help users get a better understanding of the world around them,” Pitchai said.

He also said, “Google has added more than 100,000 small businesses across leading cities in Nigeria, like Abuja and Lagos, to help improve local search experience significantly.”

The Google CEO said that the company took the decision because the number of people using Google Map had doubled in the past one year.

“Nigeria has over 100,000 local guides, and one of them includes Samson who has added more than 700 places, which were initially missing, to Google Maps.

“For instance, Google Street View is now available in Nigeria with over 10,000 kilometres available in Lagos only,” he added.