Kenyan firms picked for Google training

Two Kenyan startups have been selected in the second edition of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa as the tech giant makes good on its promise to support more African companies.

Cloud9xp - an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa and the Middle East - and PayGo Energy - a firm that allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to give better services to their customers - will receive training and mentorship from Google.

PayGo’s smart meter and connected software is aimed at driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels. The two Kenyan firms are among 11 finalists shortlisted from six African countries. The first edition of the initiative saw 12 startups graduate and go on to directly create 132 jobs and, between them, have raised over Sh700 million in funding.

“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our 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 drive employment growth,” said Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa on Monday.