Google has announced two major new developments with an aim to boost to African entrepreneurs and app developers respectively. Google Developers Launchpad Africa, is a mentorship program tailored exclusively to startups based in Africa.
The Google Accelerator programme will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos which is the first onsite location for the programme outside the US. Through this initiative, African startups will receive over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years. Participants will also receive travel and PR support during the three-month programme.
Startups who want to be part of the programme need to be a technology startup, be based in Sub-Saharan Africa and target the African market and the startups need to have already raised seed funding.
“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” says Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem Regional Manager. “Over the years, Google has worked with some incredible startups across Africa, tackling everything from healthcare, education, streamlining e-commerce to improving the food supply chain. We very much look forward to welcoming the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Africa and continue to work together to drive innovation in the African market.”
Google has also introduced the Google Play ecosystem for developers in South Africa. From 9 November 2017, developers in South Africa can sell paid applications, in-app products, and subscriptions in Google Play, with monthly payouts to their local bank accounts. They can take advantage of all of the tools offered by Google Play to monetise their products in the best way for their businesses, and they can target their products to the paid ecosystem of hundreds of millions of users in South Africa and across the world.
Android developers based in South Africa can get started right away by signing in to their Developer Console and setting up a Google merchant account. If their apps are already published as free, they can monetise them by adding in-app products or subscriptions.
New apps can be published as paid, in addition to selling in-app products or subscriptions.
“While there have been plenty of amazing apps built in South Africa, the process of monetising them was never as smooth as we knew it could be,” says Luke McKend, Google South Africa’s Country Director. “By allowing local developers to monetise their products on the Play Store, we’re underscoring how serious we are about digitally empowering South Africans.
Once a developer has prepared their apps and in-app products, they can price them in any available currencies, publish, and then receive payouts and financial data in South African Rand.