Tag Archives: accelerator

This is the Future of Finance

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Head of Launchpad

Launchpad's mission is to accelerate innovation and to help startups build world-class technologies by leveraging the best of Google - its people, network, research, and technology.

In September 2018, the Launchpad team welcomed ten of the world's leading FinTech startups to join their accelerator program, helping them fast-track their application of advanced technology. Today, March 15th, we will see this cohort graduate from the program at the Launchpad team's inaugural event - The Future of Finance - a global discussion on the impact of applied ML/AI on the finance industry. These startups are ensuring that everyone has relevant insights at their fingertips and that all people, no matter where they are, have access to equitable money, banking, loans, and marketplaces.

Tune into the event from wherever you are via the livestream link

The Graduating Class of Launchpad FinTech Accelerator San Francisco'19

  • Alchemy (USA), bridging blockchain and the real world
  • Axinan (Singapore), providing smart insurance for the digital economy
  • Aye Finance (India), transforming financing in India
  • Celo (USA), increasing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency
  • Frontier Car Group (Germany), investing in the transformation of used-car marketplaces
  • GO-JEK (Indonesia), improving the welfare and livelihoods of informal sectors
  • GuiaBolso (Brazil), improving the financial lives of Brazilians
  • JUMO (South Africa), creating a transparent, fair money marketplace for mobile users to access loans
  • m.Paani (India), (em)powering local retailers and the next billion users in India
  • Starling Bank (UK), improving financial health with a 100% mobile-only bank

Since joining the accelerator, these startups have made great strides and are going from strength to strength. Some recent announcements from this cohort include:

  • JUMO have announced the launch of Opportunity Co, a 500M fund for credit where all the profits go back to the customers.
  • The team at Aye Finance have just closed $30m in Series D equity round.
  • Starling Bank has provided 150 new jobs in Southampton and have received a £100m grant from a fund aimed at increasing competition and innovation in the British banking sector, and also a £75m fundraise.
  • GuiaBolso ran a campaign to pay the bills of some its users (the beginning of the year in Brazil is a time of high expenses and debts) and is having a significant impact on credit with 80% of cases seeing interest rates on loans being cheaper than traditional banks.

We look forward to following the success of all our participating founders as they continue to make a significant impact on the global economy.

Want to know more about the Launchpad Accelerator? Visit our site, stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter and visit The Launchpad Blog.

Launchpad Accelerator announces startup selections in Africa, Brazil, and India

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Founder of Launchpad Accelerator

For the past six years, Launchpad has connected startups from around the world with the best of Google - its people, network, methodologies, and technologies. We have worked with market leaders in over 40 countries across 6 regional programs (San Francisco, Brazil, Africa, Israel, India, and Tokyo). Launchpad also includes a new program in Mexico announced earlier this year, along with our Indie Games Accelerator and Google.org AI for Social Good Accelerator programs.

We are pleased to announce that the next cohort of startups has been selected for our upcoming programs in Africa, Brazil, and India. We reviewed over 1,000 applications for these programs, and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of startups that indicated their interest. The startups chosen represent those using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region and we look forward to supporting them and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world.

In Africa, we have selected 12 startups from 6 African countries for our 3rd class in this region:

  • 54Gene (Nigeria) - Improving drug discovery by researching the genetically diverse African population
  • Data Integrated Limited (Kenya) - Automating and digitizing SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
  • Instadiet.me (Egypt) - Connecting patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight online.
  • Kwara (Kenya) - Providing a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
  • OkHi (Kenya) - A physical addressing platform for emerging markets - on a mission to enable the billions without a physical address to "be included."
  • PAPS (Senegal) - Logistics startup focused on last mile delivery and domestic market, with strong client care orientation, allowing live tracking, intelligent adresses system and automatic dispatch.
  • ScholarX (Nigeria) - Connecting high potential students with funding opportunities to help them access an education
  • Swipe2pay (Uganda) - A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment.
  • Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya) - Turning a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
  • Voyc.ai (South Africa) - A CX Research Platform that helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, profiles, and customer journey maps.
  • WellaHealth (Nigeria) - A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high-quality disease care driven by artificial intelligence starting with malaria.
  • Zelda Learning (South Africa) - Providing free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and linking them to funding and study opportunities.

In India, for our 2nd class, we are focused on seed to growth-stage startups that operate across a number of sectors using ML and AI to solve for India-specific problems:

  • Opentalk Pte Ltd - an app that connects people around the world to become better speakers and make new friends.
  • THB - Helping healthcare providers drive full potential value from their clinical data
  • Perceptiviti Data Solutions - An AI platform for Insurance claim Ffagging, payment integrity, fraud, and abuse management
  • DheeYantra - Cognitive conversational AI for Indian vernacular languages
  • Kaleidofin - Customized financial solutions that combine multiple financial products such as savings, credit, and insurance in intuitive ways to help customers achieve their financial goals.
  • FinancePeer - A P2P lending company that connects lenders with borrowers online.
  • SmartCoin - A go-to app for providing credit access to the vastly underserved lower- and middle-income segments through advanced AI/ML models.
  • HRBOT - Using AI and Video Analytics to find employable candidates in tier 2 & 3 cities remotely.
  • Savera.ai - Remotely mapping roofs to reflect the attractiveness of a solar power plant for your roof, followed by chatbot based support to help you learn about solar (savings, RoI, reviews etc.) and connections to local service providers.
  • Adiuvo Diagnostics - Rapid wound infection assessment and management device.

In Brazil, we have chosen startups that are applying ML in interesting ways and are solving for local challenges.

  • Accountfy - SaaS platform focused on FP&A tools. Users upload trial balances and financial statements are easily built through accounting figures. harts, alerts, reports and budgets can be created too.
  • Agilize - An online accounting firm that provides annual savings of $1,500, predictability, and transparency to small-sized business through a friendly platform and massive automation.
  • Blu365 - An innovative, data-driven, customer-centric debt negotiation platform that has been transforming positively the relationship between companies and customers .
  • Estante Mágica - Estante Mágica is a free platform that, in partnership with schools, turn students into real authors, making children protagonists of their own stories.
  • Gesto - GESTO is a health tech consulting firm that uses data science to intelligently manage health insurance.
  • Rebel -A data, tech, and analytics-driven platform whose mission is to lead the transformation of the financial services market in Brazil by empowering consumers.
  • SmarttBot - Empowering individuals with the best automated investment tools in order to give them edge against bigger investors and financial institutions and improve their chances of making money.
  • Social Miner - A technology able to predict if an e-commerce visitor will buy or not and create experiences based on the consumer journey phases.

Applications are still open for Launchpad Accelerator Mexico - if you are a LATAM-based startup using technology to solve big challenges for that region, please apply to the program here

As with all of our previous regional classes, these startups will benefit from customized programs, access to partners and mentors on the ground, and Google's support and dedication to their success.


Stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter, as well as The Launchpad Blog.

Launchpad Accelerator Mexico now accepting startup applications

Posted by Francisco Solsona, Developer Relations Manager, Google Hispanoamerica

The Latin American startup ecosystem is thriving. Many success stories from the region have served as inspiration for entrepreneurs and investors alike. To build upon this momentum, we believe it is important to continue supporting programs for entrepreneurs that are using technology to solve some of the region's biggest challenges.

That's why we are happy to announce Launchpad Accelerator Mexico, a program focused on helping startups throughout Latin America create attractive, scalable, and impactful products and technologies. This program has existed in different parts of the world such as Israel, Tel Aviv; Nigeria, Lagos; Brazil, São Paulo; and now comes to Mexico City thanks to our partnership with Centraal, a thriving co-working space.

Access to new technologies and technical experts is essential to guarantee startup success. With Google Cloud serving as backbone for today's global startups, Launchpad Accelerator Mexico will help startups overcome technological challenges in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Android, and web solutions.

The inaugural program will last three months and will offer technical support on an initially defined, high impact project. The cohort of entrepreneurs will have access to a group of mentors from Google and other industry experts.

This program is for your startup if:

  • Have already validated their business model and are working on product-market adjustment and traction
  • Are interested in developing their products using the following technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Android, Google Cloud Platform, Web (Profressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages)
  • Would like their technology/product leader or team to participate in the program's activities

Registration for the inaugural class is now open and startups can apply using this form. Registration remains open until March 15. The selected startups will be announced on March 21 and will start working with Google on April 29, 2019.

Google opens new innovation space in San Francisco for the developer community

Posted by Jeremy Neuner, Head of Launchpad San Francisco

Google's Developer Relations team is opening a new innovation space at 543 Howard St. in San Francisco. By working with more than a million developers and startups we've found that something unique happens when we interact with our communities face-to-face. Talks, meetups, workshops, sprints, bootcamps, and social events not only provide opportunities for Googlers to authentically connect with users but also build trust and credibility as we form connections on a more personal level.

The space will be the US home of Launchpad, Google's startup acceleration engine. Founded in 2016 the Launchpad Accelerator has seen 13 cohorts graduate across 5 continents, reaching 241 startups. In 2019, the program will bring together top Google talent with startups from around the world who are working on AI-enabled solutions to problems in financial technology, healthcare, and social good.

In addition to its focus on startups, the Google innovation space will offer programming designed specifically for developers and designers throughout the year. For example, in tandem with the rapid growth of Google Cloud Platform, we will host hands-on sessions on Kubernetes, big data and AI architectures with Google engineers and industry experts.

Finally, we want the space to serve as a hub for industry-wide Developer Relations' diversity and inclusion efforts. And we will partner with groups such as Manos Accelerator and dev/Mission to bring the latest technologies to underserved groups.

We designed the space with a single credo in mind, "We must continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down." The flexible design of the space ensures our community has a place to learn, experiment, and grow.

For more information about our new innovation space, click here.


Introducing the 5th class of Launchpad Accelerator!

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Google Developers Launchpad

To cap off another amazing year for Launchpad Accelerator, we're excited to announce the 5th class of our hands-on mentorship program. This includes a diverse group of startups from all over the world looking to tackle everything from streamlining medical records in Africato improving breast cancer screenings.

Launchpad Accelerator is Google's six month program that includes an intensive two week bootcamp in San Francisco and mentoring from 30+ teams across Google and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley and globally. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products and media training, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country.

Class 5 kicks off January 29th, 2018 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco and will include 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training, as part of the the full 6-month program.

Here's the full list of participating startups (by region):

Africa

Nigeria

    Helium Health provides smart, rugged, all-in-one electronic medical records for Africa
    Paylater, by OneFi, is an online provider of digital financial services for the underbanked

South Africa

    Aerobotics helps farmers optimize their yields and reduce their costs through its aerial data analytics platform

Asia

Bangladesh

    Maya Apa is your digital well-being assistant that intelligently understands your question and makes it easy to connect to real doctors & therapists

India

    BabyChakrais the trusted care companion to Indian parents from pregnancy to parenting
    m.Paanipowers real-time, direct to consumer engagement, marketing, loyalty and insights for mass market consumers and retailers
    NIRAMAI is a HealthTech startup that has developed a novel Breast Cancer Screening solution that can save lives by detecting cancer at an early stage
    SocialCopsempowers organizations to make better decisions through data

Indonesia

    Kulina is a meal subscription service that uses technology to optimise inefficiencies in supply chain and logistics

Pakistan

    VividTech transforms customer services experience by allowing users to "dial" into a digital/visual experience of navigating through the IVR trees

Philippines

    Ayananh enables affordable and accessible digital financial services to the world's emerging middle class

Thailand

    Pricezaoffers a search engine and price comparison app for shopping

Vietnam

    Monkey Junior creates educational solutions for kids up to 10 to learn languages, maths and science

Europe

Hungary

    Synetiq helps brands & media producers create high performing video ads using machine learning and biometric emotional insights from their target audience

Poland

    Szopi offers a same-day delivery platform for groceries and pharmaceuticals

Russia

    App in the Air offers a personal travel assistant for flight tracking and exploring airports
    Voximplant offers a versatile cloud communications platform

Latin America

Argentina

    Etermax is a creator of massive social gaming apps such as Trivia Crack
    Restorandois the leading dining-out marketplace in Latin America

Brazil

    Loggicreates new-wave logistics, powered by intelligent software and humane technology
    Nubankis a financial technology company offering a fully digital and branchless experience
    Grupo ZAP Viva Real is an online real estate marketplace that connects buyers, sellers, and renters with properties in Brazil

Mexico

    Clipis the service that allows you to accept payments with any credit or debit card, at any time and anywhere, turning your smartphone or tablet into a banking terminal
    Kubo.financierois a P2P lending platform in Mexico regulated by local authorities including The Bank of México, CNBV and CONDUSEF

Launchpad Accelerator is open to more countries around the world! Apply now.

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Launchpad Program & Accelerator

Launchpad Accelerator gives us an opportunity to work with and empower amazing developers, who are solving major challenges all around the world -- whether it's streamlining digital commerce across Africa, providing access to multimedia tools that support special needs education, or using AI to simplify business operations.

That's why we're doubling down on our efforts and opening up applications for the next class of the program to more countries for the first time starting today. Here's the full list of the new additions:

  • Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia & Uganda
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
  • Europe: Estonia, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus & Russia
  • Latin America: Costa Rica, Panama, Peru & Uruguay

They'll be joined by our larger list of countries that are already part of the program, including: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The application process for the equity-free program will end on October 2, 2017 at 9AM PST. Later in the year, the list of selected developers will be invited to the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco for 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

What are the benefits?

The training at Google HQ includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, PR support and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program. Hear from some alumnus about their experiences here.

What do we look for when selecting startups?

Each startup that applies to the Launchpad Accelerator is considered holistically and with great care. Below are general guidelines behind our process to help you understand what we look for in our candidates.

All startups in the program must:

  • Be a technological startup.
  • Be targeting their local markets.
  • Have proven product-market fit (beyond ideation stage).
  • Be based in the countries listed above.

Additionally, we are interested in what kind of startup you are. We also consider:

  • The problem you are trying to solve. How does it create value for users? How are you addressing a real challenge for your home city, country or region?
  • Does your management team have a leadership mindset and the drive to become an influencer?
  • Will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?
  • If you're based outside of these countries, stay tuned, as we expect to add more countries to the program in the future.

We can't wait to hear from you and see how we can work together to improve your business.

Participants from Class 4

Announcing the fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator featuring new countries!

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Launchpad Program & Accelerator

We're back at it again and excited to welcome an inspiring group of startups from all over the world for the 4th class of Launchpad Accelerator.

This time around, startups from Asia and Latin America will be joined by peers from Africa and Europe. In addition to expanding our reach, we’re also expanding our curriculum. We’ll help the startups dig deeper into machine learning and AI, to help them leverage Google’s latest technologies to scale their apps.

Launchpad Accelerator includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program.

Class 4 kicks off July 17th, 2017 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco and will include 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

Here's the full list of participating startups (by region):

Africa

Kenya

    Twiga Foods Ltd: A tech-enabled sourcing and distribution platform that replaces informal wholesale markets for the millions of small and medium size food and FMCG retailers in Africa's urban markets.

Nigeria

    Gidi Mobile Limited: gidimo is a mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning & social gamification to deliver personal advancement, in a fun way, and at unprecedented scale
    Flutterwave: Flutterwave is building technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa starting with Rave, an app that helps merchants accept mobile money, cards and bank account payments across 4 African countries.
    Paystack: We help businesses in Africa accept payments from their customers.

South Africa

    JUMO Marketplace: Jumo is the largest scale, lowest cost financial services marketplace for emerging markets

Asia

India

    EdGE Networks: HR solutions provider powered by Artificial Intelligence
    FastFilmz: The Super App for Super Fans of South Indian movies!
    IndiaLends: Credit underwriting and analytics platform for unsecured consumer lending
    RailYatri: Intelligent, big data platform that leverages crowd-sourced content to help long distance travelers
    RecipeBook: Intelligent solutions in food and retail powered by deep learning computer vision
    SigTuple: Smart screening solutions powered by data driven intelligence

Indonesia

    NADIPOS: Restaurant Management Platform helping simplify operations and analytics
    SIRCLO: Empowering businesses to sell online

Malaysia

    HealthMetrics: Assisting companies managing their employee health benefits efficiently and cost effectively

Philippines

    BLOOM: Transforming remittance businesses with blockchain technology
    Honesty Apps: A Do-it-yourself mobile application platform for both iOS and Android

Singapore

    Cicil: We allow Indonesian university students to purchase items online, and pay for them in monthly installments without a credit card!

Thailand

    Piggipo: An application that helps users manage and monitor credit card spending more easily and effectively
    QueQ: Helps users manage time more wisely at crowded places

Vietnam

    eDoctor: Allows users to consult doctors anytime, anywhere

Europe

Czech Republic

    Gamee: A social gaming platform
    Spendee: Helps users understand their finances

Hungary

    PublishDrive: Intelligent SaaS enabled ebook publishing platform to increase sales globally

Poland

    DrOmnibus: Multimedia tools that support special needs education and therapy for children with developmental and behavioral disorders

Latin America

Argentina

    Increase: Simplifies and modernizes how merchants and companies understand, control and manage their income.

Brazil

    Arquivei: Empowers companies with smart data from fiscal documents fetch & analysis
    Contabilizei: Tax reporting and accounting SaaS for small businesses in Brazil
    Contratado.ME: The marketplace that puts candidates at the center of their job search

Chile

    ComparaOnline: The best and the most transparent marketplace for financial products in Latin America

Mexico

    Switch: Low cost, mobile bill pay

Announcing the fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator featuring new countries!

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Launchpad Program & Accelerator

We're back at it again and excited to welcome an inspiring group of startups from all over the world for the 4th class of Launchpad Accelerator.

This time around, startups from Asia and Latin America will be joined by peers from Africa and Europe. In addition to expanding our reach, we’re also expanding our curriculum. We’ll help the startups dig deeper into machine learning and AI, to help them leverage Google’s latest technologies to scale their apps.

Launchpad Accelerator includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program.

Class 4 kicks off July 17th, 2017 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco and will include 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

Here's the full list of participating startups (by region):

Africa

Kenya

    Twiga Foods Ltd: A tech-enabled sourcing and distribution platform that replaces informal wholesale markets for the millions of small and medium size food and FMCG retailers in Africa's urban markets.

Nigeria

    Gidi Mobile Limited: gidimo is a mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning & social gamification to deliver personal advancement, in a fun way, and at unprecedented scale
    Flutterwave: Flutterwave is building technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa starting with Rave, an app that helps merchants accept mobile money, cards and bank account payments across 4 African countries.
    Paystack: We help businesses in Africa accept payments from their customers.

South Africa

    JUMO Marketplace: Jumo is the largest scale, lowest cost financial services marketplace for emerging markets

Asia

India

    EdGE Networks: HR solutions provider powered by Artificial Intelligence
    FastFilmz: The Super App for Super Fans of South Indian movies!
    IndiaLends: Credit underwriting and analytics platform for unsecured consumer lending
    RailYatri: Intelligent, big data platform that leverages crowd-sourced content to help long distance travelers
    RecipeBook: Intelligent solutions in food and retail powered by deep learning computer vision
    SigTuple: Smart screening solutions powered by data driven intelligence

Indonesia

    NADIPOS: Restaurant Management Platform helping simplify operations and analytics
    SIRCLO: Empowering businesses to sell online

Malaysia

    HealthMetrics: Assisting companies managing their employee health benefits efficiently and cost effectively

Philippines

    BLOOM: Transforming remittance businesses with blockchain technology
    Honesty Apps: A Do-it-yourself mobile application platform for both iOS and Android

Singapore

    Cicil: We allow Indonesian university students to purchase items online, and pay for them in monthly installments without a credit card!

Thailand

    Piggipo: An application that helps users manage and monitor credit card spending more easily and effectively
    QueQ: Helps users manage time more wisely at crowded places

Vietnam

    eDoctor: Allows users to consult doctors anytime, anywhere

Europe

Czech Republic

    Gamee: A social gaming platform
    Spendee: Helps users understand their finances

Hungary

    PublishDrive: Intelligent SaaS enabled ebook publishing platform to increase sales globally

Poland

    DrOmnibus: Multimedia tools that support special needs education and therapy for children with developmental and behavioral disorders

Latin America

Argentina

    Increase: Simplifies and modernizes how merchants and companies understand, control and manage their income.

Brazil

    Arquivei: Empowers companies with smart data from fiscal documents fetch & analysis
    Contabilizei: Tax reporting and accounting SaaS for small businesses in Brazil
    Contratado.ME: The marketplace that puts candidates at the center of their job search

Chile

    ComparaOnline: The best and the most transparent marketplace for financial products in Latin America

Mexico

    Switch: Low cost, mobile bill pay