NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – PayGo Energy and Cloud9xp have been selected to join nine other startups from across Africa to join Google’s second Launchpad Accelerator Africa class.
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. PayGo’s smart meter and connected software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better service their customers.
The accelerator, which is housed in Lagos, Nigeria, saw 12 startups graduate in the first class, with more than 20 teams from Google and 40 mentors from nine countries supporting them.
The startups have directly created 132 jobs and, between them, have raised over US$7 million in funding. Their products are being used by approximately 4.5 million people.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” says Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa. “We’re currently as a region creating about three 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.”
For the second class, Google extended applications to an additional 11 countries, competition for spots was even fiercer than the first time around.
Google received more than 250 applications, including from graduates of previous Launchpad programmes, with others referred to the programme by Launchpad mentors.
The other finalists from six countries include Nigeria’s Appzone, Formplus, Medsaf and Thank U Cash with Ghana’s Chalkboard Education also making it to the second class
Others are Pineapple and Preeva (South Africa), EzyAgric (Uganda) and Mintrics from Egypt.
The finalists each receive three-month intense mentorship and Cloud and Firebase Credits plus three weeks all-expense-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa in Lagos.
Applicants needed to be an early stage technology startup based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, that had already raised seed funding.
Google additionally considered the problem the startup is trying to solve, how it creates value for users and how it addresses a real challenge for their home city, country or Africa broadly.
Further, Google looked at whether the startup would share what they will learn from the programme for the benefit of other startups in their local ecosystem.