Google unveils 40 European start-ups to be backed by Black Founders Fund

16 Jun 2022


The list of start-ups to receive backing from the European Black Founders Fund is dominated by the UK, while no Irish start-up or founder featured.

Google has revealed the 40 start-ups in Europe that are to receive funding from its $4m Black Founders Fund.

First announced in March, the fund will award $100,000 to each of the start-ups along with mentorship and non-financial support.

The start-ups to receive funding are based across the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands. No start-up or founder based in Ireland made it onto the list.

Of the 40 start-ups selected, a whopping 26 are from the UK and almost a third of all the founders are women.

“While we often hear the lack of diversity in tech is a pipeline problem, the variety and strength of this list for the second year running shows that this is not the case,” the company wrote in a blogpost.

The selected start-ups cover a broad range of industries including health, fashion, security, fintech and education.

Sojo, one of the UK companies selected, has developed a clothing alterations and repairs app. It was founded by 24-year-old entrepreneur Josephine Phillips, who was recently featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list.

Other recipients include Feniska, a Berlin-based pet-tech start-up co-founded by Ropafadzo Murombo, which is creating IoT devices to help cat and dog owners track critical health data; and Kuorum in Spain, founded by Matías Nso, which provides software for secure and legal online voting.

The Google Black Founders Fund was established in 2020 to support black founders with necessary funding and support to help their budding businesses thrive. Start-ups from the programme have since gone on to raise more than $63m in funding collectively.

“It has been clear for many years that black founders do not have the same opportunities and support as many others, particularly when it comes to funding,” the company wrote.

Google added that this lack of funding is despite the fact that 67pc of black-led tech start-ups in Europe generate revenue and create an average of 8.2 jobs each, according to its upcoming Black Report 2022.

The full list of winning start-ups for the 2022 fund can be found here.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic