Six Nigerian led startups were successfully chosen among thirty startups with black ethnic minority founders by Google to get part of its $2 million Black Founders Fund. These companies will be receiving cash, ad credits as well as networking and mentoring with the Google crew. All of the companies are based in Europe.
These six startups with founders and co-founders of Nigerian descent are; MoveMeBank, Define, Circuit Mind Limited, Contingent, HomeHero and Playbrush. MoveMeBack, however, is the only one with a female co-founder while the 5 other companies all have male co-founders.
Let us do a profile of each of the lucky startups.
This was founded by Goldman Sachs Alumnus Oyin Solebo and Mckinsey and Accenture Alumnus Charles Sekwalor. Its vision is to drive positive growth in Africa by providing a trusted and sturdy platform by which organizations, institutions and individuals across the world interact and partner with Africa. The co founders share a commitment and passion for realising tangible and positive change in Africa, through the application of business, talent, entrepreneurial problem-solving, and increased access to information and knowledge.
It is a members only community that connects foreign leaders, talents and organizations to unique and high potential opportunities in Africa.
They tackle four major challenges which include:
- Challenge in accessing relevant talent and partners for growth.
- Lack of visibility of opportunities to foreign based talents and leaders.
- Support for solving peculiar African day to day challenges.
- The need to better tell the African stories.
The companies it has supported include Jumia, Ecobank, Uber, The Aspen Institute, MEST, Andela, Dalberg, One Acre Fund, Global Health Corps. It was founded in 2014 and based in London, United Kingdom.
The legal start up was co founded by lawyers Feargus MacDaeid and Nnamdi Emelifeonwu. It helps lawyers read, draft and understand legal documents that ordinarily would have taken a long time in a relatively short span of time. It aids in breaking down complicated legal documents into simplified ones.
In 2020, it raised 1 million pounds in seed funding and was founded in September 2019. The startup has already gained several clients, including Allen & Overy and Deloitte Legal, and has pilots underway with several other firms and organisations. It has also been a member of Allen & Overy’s FUSE cohort. It is based in London, United Kingdom.
It was founded by Tomide Adesanmi who doubles as the CEO and Basilio Gentille who is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and based in London, UK. It was founded in 2018.
It designs reliable electronics in seconds. Using Circuit Mind’s software, engineering teams are able to create better circuits at a faster pace and with lesser errors. Electronic Engineers use Circuit Mind Artificial Intelligence platforms to automatically generate, redesign, maintain and optimize their schematics, layouts and component sections in seconds with miniscule errors.
Its clients include FixturFab, ABL Circuits, Ethiot and they assist companies in building electronic circuits from concept to production or prototype. They also help clients get their designs done.
It was founded by Tai Alegbe and Rajpal Wilkhu and is based in London. They use artificial intelligence to assist companies in the supply chain sector and they raised $2.3 million in funding in 2020.
Tai Alegbe had this to say when they raised the funds last year “There’s never been a greater need to ensure our supply chains are robust and fit for purpose, and this fresh capital injection will ensure our customers have the tools they need to deliver operational resilience,”
The funding was led by Connect Ventures with participation from Seedcamp, Concentric and Angel Invest Ventures.
They operate in a wide range of markets which comprise financial services, healthcare, technology, banking. Their customers include Monzo, Seagate, Vyne and several Government Departments.
It was founded in 2017 by Kenny Alegbe and Mooktakim Ahmed and focuses on making life better for property managers and residents through a wide range of services it provides on an app from setting up bills to repairing a broken boiler. It is based in London. It has a large network of residents, landlords and property managers that it works with online. It functions as a digital homes manager.
It was founded by Matthäus Ittner, Paul Varga and Tolulope Ogunsina and had raised £3.3 million in 4 funding rounds before being selected for the Black Founders Fund. Playbrush is based in London also. It is a dental healthcare start up that teaches children and young people how to brush their teeth properly through the aid of video games. It is also based in London.
It was founded in 2014. They first had a kickstarter campaign in 2015 where they raised an undisclosed sum of money to help finance their activities. Their technology consists of both hardware and software which is downloadable via Android and Apple App Stores.
They have received the following awards:
- UCL Bright Ideas Award 2014
- TNW Europe Top 3 Startup – 2015
- Best Technological Innovative Contribution Award (Gamification World Awards 2015)
- Health Media Award 2016
- Pitch@Palace Finalist 2016
- Forbes Austria Start-up Academy 2016
- Bits & Pretzels Pro 7 Special Award (250.000 TV Budget Price) 2017
In 2018, the founders of Playbrush appeared on season 15 of the BBC series Dragons’ Den requesting £100,000 for a 1% stake in their company. They received 4 offers of investment at a higher percentage. They turned down all four offers.
The 30 of the startups that made the list will each receive up to $100,000 in non-equity funding as well as up to $120,000 in Ads grants. They will each also have access to $100,000 in Cloud credits.
Google first announced the funds in October 2020 and since then, more than 800 companies applied. They were further shortlisted to 100 applicants and these ones were interviewed by the tech company. From this smaller cut, an even smaller number of 30 startups were selected as the final winners to share in the fund.
Apart from the six that have Nigerians as co-founders, the other 24 startups are Tradein, LINE, Afrocenchix, AudioMob, Augmize, Bosque, Axela Innovation, Freyda, Clustdoc, Heex Technologies, Hutch Logistics, Iknowa, Kami, Kwara, LaLaLand, Modularity Grid, Remote Coach, Robin AI, Scoodle, Suvera, Syrona Health, Vanilla Steel, Wild Radish and Xtramile.