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$4m funding: Nigerian IT firms top Google’s 60 shortlist   

Twenty-three startups out of the 60 shortlisted in Africa for $4 million funding by  Google are Nigerian firms.

The ”equity-free cash” comes under the tech giant’s funding scheme called  Google Black Founders Fund (BFF) for startup tech firms in African nations.

Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem, Sub-Sahara Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi, who made this known in a statement yesterday, did not name the lucky Nigerian firms

Aiyegbusi, however, explained that the companies would be part of tailored workshops, support networks, and community-building sessions.

The programme will be distributed via Google’s implementation partner, CcHUB.

Aiyegbusi said the scheme reinforces Google’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups in Africa as a way of creating employment and growth on the continent.

He described Africa as a continent with massive opportunities but faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow.

The Google Head of Startup Ecosystem, said: “We hope that the Black Founders Fund programme will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expert startups over local and black-led companies.

“Each of the selected startups would receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges.

Aiyegbusi said the equity-free cash assistance to the startups would enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff members, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences.

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 He explained that the scheme was designed to help the start-ups buffer the cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their businesses, as many of them had no steady revenue streams yet.

In a related development, Nigerian start-ups have raised over $600 million in investments in the first quarter of 2022.

 This was made known by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Abdullahi, during the IHatch Incubation programme Cohort-1 demonstration day and Cohort-2 inauguration in   Abuja.

Abdullahi said such investments in the start-ups in Nigeria by the global community speak to the opportunities, innovative talents of Nigerians, and the commitment of the regulatory body to a digital economy.

  “Nigerian startups have continued to attract more investments than other countries on the continent, with a number of the startups raising about $600 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022,” he added.

The NITDA boss said that with over 3,300 start-ups in Nigeria, there would be opportunities for jobs and wealth creation for youths with hope for speedy development for the larger economy.

Thenation

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