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Black Founders Fund

A Google for Startups initiative giving access to funding to Black-founded startups in Africa.

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About the initiative

Through the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, we are supporting early-stage, Black-founded startups on the continent. We want to bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape.

This non-dilutive $4M fund is allocated across a pipeline of 60 investable startups in Africa. Applications for the latest $4M Black Founders Fund in Africa are now open until May 31st (23:59 GMT). Find out more and apply below. Founders will receive up to $100K in equity-free cash, up to an additional $200K in Google Cloud Credits, and access to the best of Google—people, products, and practices.

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Initiative impact

In 2021, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund invested $3M into 50 Black led-startups in Africa. Since then, the selected startups have gone on to raise $73M+ in follow-on funding, hired more staff, and grown their revenues.

Initiative benefits

  • The best of Google

    We connect founders with the very best of Google's people, products, and practices.

  • Access to capital

    Up to $100K in equity-free cash will be awarded to each startup.

  • Global community

    At its core, the Black Founders Fund is a global initiative. Selected founders have the opportunity to connect with founders from all over the world.

FAQs

Which countries are eligible?

We are currently accepting applicants from the following countries in Africa: Botswana, Cameroun, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

(These countries are our prime focus due to their active tech and startup ecosystems, but we will consider very strong applications from other African countries not listed.)

When is the deadline for applications?

Applications are open now until May 31st. You can apply here.

Is this fund only for Google for Startups Accelerator alumni and participants?

No, this initiative is open to all startup founders who meet the criteria.

Who is eligible for the initiative?

Startups must be:

  • Headquartered in Africa or has a legal presence on the continent
  • Building for Africa and a global market
  • Creating jobs, able to show growth potential to raise more funding, and making an impact

With a founding team that is:

  • Diverse, with at least one Black C-level founding member
  • Directly supporting the Black community

Technical requirements:

  • Technology startups with a live product in-market or a business where technology is core to their ability to scale (the initiative is not for consultancies or not-for-profits)
  • Compatibility with Google products—our products can accelerate your growth

How much funding is offered to selected startups?

Each startup will receive either $50,000 or $100,000. Funding varies according to each startup’s product development stage, current needs, and how much they’ve already raised.

My product hasn’t launched yet. Can I still apply?

No, we’re looking for startups with released products. So if your company hasn’t launched a product quite yet, we ask that you wait to apply until you’ve reached this milestone.

My startup has already been funded. Can I still apply?

Yes, funding will be awarded based on each startup's needs and situation regardless of funding cycle.

Is there only one call for applications?

Yes, applications are open from May 17th to May 31st. You can apply here.

Since I applied to the initiative, my startup has significantly evolved. Can I reapply?

Yes, please resubmit your application with updated metrics and information that best show your company’s growth. Please note that once the application closes on May 31st, you will not be able to apply or make any changes to your application.

Will I get feedback on my business if it’s not selected?

Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to startups that are not selected. We'll only reach out to selected companies.

If my company is selected, will Google become an equity partner?

No, the Black Founders Fund is an equity-free investment. That means there is no shareholding or financial counterpart of any kind. Google won’t be part of your startup's corporate structure or have any kind of financial return on the investment.

Where can I apply?

Applications are open until May 31st (23:59 GMT). You can apply here.

Meet the 2021 founders