Top 4 Kenyan Startup Companies to Watch in 2018 According to World Bank Funded Program XL Africa

  • Kenya remains the biggest tech hub in Sub Sahara Africa outside South Africa. It is now home to some of the most exciting start-ups on the tech scene from payments, logistics, blockchain, e-commerce, insure-tech and tourism.

    Kenya now boasts of an ever-increasing share of funding raised by start-ups in Africa having been named the ‘Silicon Savannah’

    Here are 4 of the most promising start-up companies from the recently concluded XL Africa World Bank-funded program that represented the Kenyan ecosystem. Start-ups that have gone to the ‘ScaleUp’ level, after raising funds from local and international investors and are enjoying tremendous market growth.

    [caption caption="World Bank-funded program XL Africa's website"][/caption]

    1. PESABAZAAR.com

    PESABAZAAR.com is an online financial services aggregator in Kenya. It is fast becoming an alternative to traditional insurance brokers and agents. The platform allows consumers to learn, compare and save money on all insurance products all-online. It has partnered with most of the leading insurance companies in Kenya to give customers the convenience and transparency online.

    The platform promises to save Kenyans up to 32% on car insurance quotes in Kenya. Started in 2016, it has already saved thousands of Kenyan car owns money on their annual insurance premiums. It aims to be a one-stop shop for customers looking to buy all insurance products in Kenya.

    [caption caption="PESABAZAAR.com"][/caption]

    2. SOKOWATCH

    Sokowatch is an on-demand delivery service for small retail shops, focused on fast-moving consumer goods in urban East Africa.

    Over 85% of consumer purchases across East Africa are made in small informal retail shops, and yet direct distribution channels to these outlets largely do not exist. This limits the on-shelf availability of goods and means retailers have to source their own inventory costing them precious time, money and lost business.

    Servicing over 3000 shops across Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Sokowatch addresses this critical issue by enabling retailers to order their inventory as they need it and receive delivery within the same day. Shopkeepers can either SMS or use the Sokowatch smartphone app to place their order. Sokowatch’s technology platform processes the order and notifies a Sokowatch delivery agent via his or her mobile app.

    [caption caption="SOKOWATCH website"][/caption]

    The agent then delivers the order, on average within two hours, at no cost to the retailer. Sokowatch has helped companies such as Unilever, Chandaria Industries, and Steelwool Africa increase product availability and revenue while simultaneously saving retailers time and money.

    3. LYNK

    Lynk offers a LinkedIn for the LinkedOut. Workers on the Lynk platform are vetted for technical and soft skills and given their own publicly accessible profile with info on skills, qualifications, photographs, and work history. Customers with services needs in over 70 categories, from masons to housekeepers, and tailors to carpenters, can request jobs through our web or app, using a curated series of questions.

    Their technology then shortlists the most suitable candidates based on geography and skills. These requests are relayed to those shortlisted workers through SMS (allowing people to participate regardless of internet access) and workers bid for the jobs by replying with a quote.

    Customers review the bids alongside worker profiles and book the worker they like. The Lynk system then uses a number of automated processes to ensure that jobs go smoothly and to collect payments when the jobs are done. Post job ratings ensure that workers are held accountable for their work and that well-delivered services result in more work in future.

    [caption caption="Lynk's website"][/caption]

    Lynk has facilitated over 6,000 jobs in the last year and paid out tens of millions of shillings to workers in the informal sector.

    4. SKY GARDEN

    The e-commerce platform uses connects traders and consumers on an easy to use platform that secures payment and shipping facilities. Sky.Garden is a mobile commerce technology built specifically for African businesses.  It currently targets consumers in the big cities in Kenya where demand is the highest.

    Increasing, big brands are posting their inventory onto the platform for end customers to purchase through businesses on the platform.

    Sky.Garden bills itself as a crossover between the world renown platforms in the West Shopify and Amazon, both giants in the e-commerce world. The e-commerce world in Kenya is already a competitive ground with the likes of Jumia and Kilimall serving millions of Kenyans online.  

    Sky.Garden has recently raised over KSh 120 million in funds for expansion into the Kenyan market.

    [caption caption="Sky.garden"][/caption]