INTERNET services giant Google has announced ambitious plans to invest $6m in Nigeria and several other African countries as part of a major expansion drive aimed at increasing its presence in developing markets.
Under the plans, the Google investment will help start-ups in Nigeria and other African countries get access to capital. This programme includes a $3m Black Founders Fund for African Start-ups and a $3m Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding.
Nitin Gajria, the managing director of Google Africa and Rowan Barnett, , the head of Google.org Europe, Middle East and Africa, issued a statement yesterday outlining the programme. They further explained that the fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable start-ups in Africa and is open to all new companies that meet the criteria.
“Through the Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund Africa, we are supporting early-stage black-founded start-ups and start-ups that are benefitting the black community on the continent. We want to bridge the existing fundraising gap for black start-up founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape.
“The programmes, which include a $3m Black Founders Fund for African start-ups and a $3m Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding, will help black founders grow their businesses not only by providing capital but also by providing access to the best of Google resources. The $3m non-dilutive fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable start-ups in Africa, with each firm receiving up to $100,000 in cash awards.
“Each selected company will also receive $220,000 in Google Cloud Credits and ad grants, as well as mentoring, technical and scaling assistance from the best of Google. The equity-free fund is available to entrepreneurs developing for Africa, on the continent,” their statement added.