Nigeria’s Flutterwave, Delivery Science, Gidi Mobile, Paystack and Kenya’s Database Management System and South Africa’s Jumo are the six startups from Sub-Saharan Africa selected to join the fourth class of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program.
Launchpad Accelerator is implemented in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and was launched in late 2015, the program, had previously been reserved for startups from India, South East Asia and Latin America. For the first time, the program has accepted applications from Sub-Saharan countries.
Database Management System (DMS), a tech-enabled sourcing and distribution platform that replaces informal wholesale markets for the millions of small and medium size food and FMCG retailers in Africa’s urban markets. The app is also designed for quick learning, revisions, references at the time of exams and interviews as it covers most of the related topics and detailed explanation with all the basics topics.
Nigeria has four participating startups in the program namely: Delivery Science, which is a mobile form app that helps large organizations get field data; Gidi Mobile Limited- a mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning & social gamification to deliver personal advancement, in a fun way, and at unprecedented scale and Paystack, an app that helps businesses in Africa accept their payments from their customers.; Flutterwave- which is building technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa starting with Rave, an app that helps merchants accept mobile money, cards and bank account payments across 4 African countries.
South Africa’s Jumo, the largest scale, lowest cost financial services marketplace for emerging markets has 5 million customers with Tanzania and Kenya as their 2 biggest markets followed by Zambia. Jumo has seen 17 million loans disbursed since inception and is live in 6 countries.
The Launchpad Accelerator is the third and final phase. The participating startups are currently in this phase which is a 6-month hyper-acceleration program for late-stage startups that includes a 2-week, all-expense-paid kick-off boot camp at the new Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.
As a function of increasing mobile and internet penetration as well as growth of mobile money, startups and small-businesses recognise the need to have apps power their business, but have limited knowledge to go about it. Launchpad Accelerator aims at bridging this gap.
Selected tech startups must have a product targeting their local markets with proven product-market fit (beyond ideation stage). The selection process considers the problem the startup is trying to solve, how it creates value and whether it addresses a real challenge in the startup’s home country.