Google’s Africa Investment Fund plans to invest up to $50 million in African early and growth-stage startups, ramping up efforts to help more businesses on the continent.
Google announced its plans today at a virtual event, with CEO Sundar Pichai announcing the tech giant’s aim to invest $1 billion in tech-led initiatives in Africa over the next five years.
These initiatives range from improved Google’s Equiano subsea cable to investments in small businesses and startups.
Until now, Google had fulfilled its obligations in the latter through its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program and the newly launched Black Founders Fund.
Over 80 startups from seed to Series A have benefited from the accelerator program’s equity-free mentorship and resources over the last three years. Twiga, Paystack, and Piggyvest are among the 80+ startups selected into the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, which has raised over $100 million in venture capital.
So far, 50 startups have been selected to take part in the Africa program, which will start on October 13th. Each will receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, as well as Google Cloud credits, Google.org ad grants, and other resources.
According to Google, 40 % of the 50 startups are led by women, representing nine countries and 12 sectors.
Startups who receive funding from the Africa Investment Fund will have access to Google’s people, network, and technologies, according to the company.