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Habtamu Tadesse, founder & CEO of Zayrdie and ArifPay, Ezana RasWork and Aklilu Tadesse, founder & general manager of Garri Logistics, will be part of the 60 founders that will take part in the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF).

The duo will receive a 6-month training that includes access to a network of mentors to help them tackle challenges that are unique to them. They will participate in customized workshops, support networks, and community-building activities.

In addition, they will receive awards of $50,000 to $100,000 in equity-free money and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.

Google started its Black Founders Fund as a commitment to invest in black entrepreneurs in 2021. Nigerian startups make up a third of the 2022 cohort and constituted half of last year’s. Startups from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, and Botswana were also funded.

Habtamu Taddesse, a University of Massachusetts graduate, established ZayRide in 2016.  Headquartered in Addis Ababa, ZayRide is a customer-centric on-demand taxi service offering fast, convenient service throughout the local area. The application allows customers to request taxis and private drivers through an app and a call center. 

Built by the team behind the taxi app ZayRide, ArifPay was established as a business in 2021 and was the first fintech in the country to receive a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia. ArifPay is a mobile payment application that serves as an electronic payment platform allowing users to transfer, store, request and accept money using the application.

The startup has developed an MPOS system that will allow ATM cardholders to make electronic transactions on smartphones and aims to deliver convenient, innovative, safe, and secure payment processing services and platforms to the Ethiopian market.

Meanwhile, Garri Logistics is a digital freight brokerage and transport company leveraging technology to optimize an offline and fragmented industry.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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