Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 4 Tackles Access to Financial Services, Education, Agriculture

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Class 4 of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa kicked off in Lagos today. Comprising startups from six countries and spanning six sectors, this class is particularly strong, having collectively earned in excess of US$600 000 in revenue over the past six months. They’re also addressing some big challenges, including access to financial services, education, and agriculture. 

“We continue to be impressed by the quality of startups that apply to the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme,” says the programme’s head of startup success and services, Fola Olatunji-David. “Class 4 is no exception and we expect them to build on the successes of the previous three classes.”

Since Launchpad Accelerator Africa was first announced in late 2017, the programme has helped 35 startups achieve growth, raise millions of dollars in investments, and create hundreds of jobs across the continent.

“With every class, we’ve been able to refine the programme, improve our support for the participating startups and understand the contexts they operate in,” says Olatunji-David. “These startups have worked hard to grow their businesses, understand what they needed to do and in some cases pivot their entire model.”

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As with each class, all the selected startups receive working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme.

The 12 selected startups, in alphabetical order, are: 

Afara Partners (Nigeria): Afara Partners offers platforms that provide services to the financially underserved/excluded.

BrandBook (South Africa):  BrandBook is a mobile app that incentives users to take a picture of their receipts, allowing it to harvest consumer purchase behaviour across all channels.

Elewa (Kenya): Elewa is a toolkit for establishing scalable high-quality training programs within existing education- or professional institutions.

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Eversend (Uganda): Eversend is a multi-currency e-wallet that allows you to exchange, spend and send money at the best possible rates. It also includes insurance, virtual debit cards, and bill payments.

OZE (Ghana):  OZÉ brings African small businesses into the digital era, equipping their owners to make data-driven decisions to improve their performance and access capital.

Phenomenal Technologies (Zimbabwe): Phenomenal Technologies offers low-cost field excursions for learners through virtual reality.

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REACH (Nigeria): REACH recognises, categorises and interprets transaction data from SMS and other sources, making this data available as individual financial and market insights.

Sortd (South Africa): Sortd aims to re-invent email with the world’s first All-in-One productivity suite for Gmail and GSuite.

TradeBuza (Nigeria): The TradeBuza is a cloud-based web and mobile application which digitises contract farming and trade.

Tulaa (Kenya): Tulaa is an online-to-offline marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa.

XEND (Nigeria): XEND Allows users to make and receive payments, offline or online.

WorkPay (Kenya): WorkPay is cloud-based employee management and payment solution using the power of mobile and biometrics.

Google’s first regionally-based startup accelerator program, Launchpad Accelerator Africa runs out of a dedicated space in Lagos. Announced in 2017, Google has committed to training 60 African startups over 3 years, representing over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme.

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