Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3 which comprised 12 startups graduated last week in Lagos, raising $9 million (N3.24 billion) and creating more than 120 jobs.
This was revealed by Mr. Fola Olatunji-David, Launchpad Accelerator Africa head of startup success and services. Olatunji-David noted that the 12 startups increased the number of startups that had featured in the Google Accelerator programme to 35.
He said, “We know that Africa is awash with entrepreneurial potential and if that potential is to be transformed into job creation, startups founded by those entrepreneurs need to grow.”
The graduating startups now form part of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s alumni, along with the 23 startups from classes 1 and 2 who between them have created 385 direct jobs and raised over $19 million before, during and after they participated in the programme.
He said that the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa was critical to the survival of the continent.
“We’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year, while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to employment growth and enabling both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives,” he said.
Class 4 will kick off later this year, and see another 10 to 12 African startups complete the three-month acceleration programme. Applications for Class 4 open June 21 and will close on July 26.