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This year's Black Founders Fund recipients in Africa and Europe

A photograph of the Black Founders Fund recipients and Google for Startups team in South Africa
Black Founders Fund recipients in Cape Town

In 2022, just 1% of all venture capital funding went to Black-founded companies. Since 2020, we’ve provided more than $45 million in cash funding to 547 Black founders via our Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in Africa, Brazil, Europe and the United States. Startup recipients have gone on to raise over $400 million in additional investment after being selected, and used the non-dilutive funds to create jobs and grow their revenue.

Last week, we wrapped up six months of hands-on mentorship support and programming by welcoming 32 of the 2023 Black Founders Fund recipients from across Europe and Africa in Cape Town. I was honored to welcome founders with a keynote, fireside chat and Q&A to show unwavering support for our Black founders.

With more than 50% female leadership and representing more than 12 countries, this year’s Black Founders Fund cohort in Europe and Africa is nothing short of exceptional. From building women-focused investment platforms to using AI in supporting frequently overlooked jobseekers, I am excited for Google to continue to play a part in supporting the growth of these companies.

  • A woman with long black hair and wearing a black sleeveless top looks at the camera, with a cityscape in the distance behind her.

    Claudine Adeyemi, cofounder of Earlybird

    London, United Kingdom

    Earlybird combines generative AI and voice technology to help providers save time and money whilst delivering better employment outcomes for frequently overlooked jobseekers.

  • A man wearing a white and black striped shirt smiles at the camera, with his arms crossed across his chest.

    Abraham Mbuthia, cofounder of Uzapoint

    Nairobi, Kenya

    Uzapoint offers a simple, affordable, cutting-edge Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mobile and web Point of Sale (POS) application designed to help small scale retailers automate their business operations and help them communicate with both their suppliers and customers.

  • A woman in a yellow blazer smiles at the camera.

    Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti, Founder of Herconomy

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Herconomy is female-focused fintech company and the first bank in Nigeria dedicated to creating financial resources for women.

  • A woman in a light blue polo shirt stands in front of a sign that reads "EzyAgric."

    Esther Karwera, cofounder of EzyAgric

    Kampala, Uganda

    EzyAgric is an ag-tech company and marketplace that uses AI to simplify production, marketing and financial services for farmers and agribusinesses.

  • A man with wearing a black turtleneck smiles at the camera.

    David Weber, cofounder of Nooxit

    Berlin, Germany

    Nooxit is an AI platform that automates financial and accounting processes, leveraging historical ERP data to interpret documents, automate tax auditing and detect transactional anomalies.

  • A woman with a high ponytail smiles at the camera, wearing glasses and a black turtleneck.

    Hodan Aden, cofounder of Empire AI

    Oslo, Norway

    Empire AI leverages artificial intelligence to help users plan and manage office spaces, making office buildings more space efficient, sustainable, and people-centric.

  • A man wearing a black shirt smiles at the camera.

    Eric Rutayisire Muziga, founder of CHARIS UAS

    Kigali, Rwanda

    Using AI-powered autonomous vehicles, Charis UAS provides near real-time and easily accessible 3D geospatial data analytics to help solve Africa’s biggest sustainability challenges.

  • A woman with long black hair and wearing a blue botton-down shirt looks at the camera, with her arms folded.

    Folusho Ojo, cofounder of TruQ

    Lagos, Nigeria

    TruQ is an operating system for third-party logistics that uses AI to connect businesses and individuals across Africa to the closest vehicle in real time.

  • A man wearing a pink polo shirt smiles at the camera.

    Gary Izunwa, cofounder of Tangent

    London, United Kingdom

    Tangent connects talent from socially diverse backgrounds to tech employees for employee referrals, with a goal of making the hiring process more equitable and accessible.

  • Three men wearing black t-shirts with "Healthdart" written in white letters all face the camera, sitting with their hands folded.

    Yauvan Hansraj, Njabulo Skhosana, and Tshwanelo Matsane, cofounders of Healthdart

    Johannesburg, South Africa

    HealthDart integrated digital pharmacy and telemedicine platform aiming to make healthcare more accessible and affordable throughout South Africa.

Spending time with founders for this year's closing event affirms why the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund remains the benchmark for corporate investment and allyship for the startup ecosystem. Racial equity isn't achieved by isolated moments throughout any one year — it's a continuous, focused effort to support people, just as they are, wherever they may be.

Learn more about the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and see the entire list of global Black Founders Fund recipients in the comprehensive Google for Startups alumni directory.

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