Google is taking 14 of Africa’s best start-ups on an epic European funding trip. GoMetro, the only start-up from South Africa, will be meeting more than 300 investors in Europe in the next 3 weeks.
Members of the GoMetro team left for the trip of a lifetime today (Monday 14 August) as part of thePitchDrive tour. Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, PitchDrive takes representatives from 14 African start-up companies on a whirlwind tour of London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich and Paris. As part of the tour, GoMetro will get to pitch the business to hundreds of big-league investors in order to secure funding. Its participants will also be heading to the biggest names in innovation that Europe has to offer – Google’s London campus, TQ in Amsterdam, Factory Berlin and the Impact Hub in Zurich, before finishing at the legendary NUMA in Paris on 6 September.
PitchDrive is an innovation competition powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and dreamed up by Nigeria’s leading social innovation centre, Co-Creation Hub (CcHub). Out of 118 entries from all over Africa for the PitchDrive competition, only one of the 14 selected companies was South African – and that was GoMetro.“Being able to represent Africa as the only South African start-up is a double honour,” said GoMetro’s founder and CEO Justin Coetzee. “Africa as a continent is experiencing really significant economic growth, especially in the digital space. This tour complements the launch of our London office and our market expansion into the EU. This is the moment for GoMetro – and PitchDrive is only going to accelerate our existing strategies. As part of our initiative to step outside of South Africa into rest of Africa, this exciting tour will help us get to know those markets and our fellow African entrepreneurs.”
The trip also promises to be five-star networking opportunity for GoMetro, with mentorship and support for the start-ups from notable tech founders. These include David Grunwald of Google for Entrepreneurs, Saidah Nash Carter of Reuters, Iroko founder and CEO Jason Njoku, Stephen Newton of Illuminate Africa and more.
“Upon completion of the tour, they would have pitched to over 300 investors, with the specific goal of raising over €20 million. This is the first tour of its kind connecting African tech companies with European capital, and the PitchDrive team is aiming to open up the sector to investors who desire to include emerging markets in their portfolios,” said Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (CcHub) founder and CEO Bosun Tijani.
“I think the raising of funding in Europe, the chief beneficiary of that is Africans,” said Coetzee. “We will roll out into other African areas. On PitchDrive, we can speak to these people from Kigali from Gaborone and such that are doing business in those areas. Getting outside of the barrier of South Africa has enormous value for what we are doing in South Africa.”