Google has announced its first investment from its Africa Investment Fund in SafeBoda, a tech firm that operates in Nigeria and Uganda.
It said in a statement that this investment would help the firm scale its transportation-led app to offer new payment and financial services solutions for its expanding set of customers in the two countries.
The Managing Director for Google in Africa, Nitin Gajria, said, “I am thrilled about our first investment from the $50m Africa Investment Fund that we announced two months ago.
“This is part of our ongoing commitment to tech startups in Africa. I am of the firm belief that no one is better placed to solve Africa’s biggest problems than Africa’s young developers and entrepreneurs. We look forward to announcing subsequent investments in other startups.”
A Co-founder, SafeBoda, Ricky Thomson, said, “SafeBoda welcomes Google to their community and are excited to continue to drive innovation in informal transportation and payments in the ‘boda boda’ (motorcycle taxi driver in East Africa) or okada (West Africa) industry.
“As a former boda driver in Kampala, I know that we are the lifeblood of Africa’s cities and we power economic development. SafeBoda is thrilled that leading global companies such as Google see the importance of backing startups working towards these goals.”
According to Google, the Africa Investment Fund is part of its broad plan to invest $1bn over five years to support digital transformation in Africa.