Kenyan Firm Bags Ksh13M, Joins Top US Companies in Program

  • Kenyan ed-tech startup Kidato accepted into Y Combinator accelerator
    Members of Kidato, a Kenyan ed-tech startup accepted into Y Combinator accelerator
    File
  • Kenyan tech start-up, Kidato was named as one of the three African companies that joined the exclusive Silicon Valley Y Combinator - a US seed money startup accelerator that has helped launch thousands of top startups. 

    Kidato, which offers online learning for K-12 students (2 to 18 years of age), joined the Y Combinator Winter cohort in January where it got Ksh13 million and will showcase its capabilities to global investors end of March 2021, with a possibility of getting more funding. 

    The school provides high-quality and affordable education to parents who must choose between public schools and private schools. It offers a student-teacher ratio of 5:1.

    Sam Gichuru the founder of Kidato, a tech company that has been accepted in the Y Combinator
    Sam Gichuru the founder of Kidato, a tech company that has been accepted in the Y Combinator
    File

    Y Combinator is a program that funds early-stage start-ups. They work intensively with companies to help them get into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors.

    Kidato joined Nigerian fintech start-up Mono and Ivory Coast-based company Djamo. Mono is a company that enables companies and developers to access financial accounts for historical and real-time transactions while Djamo is a financial super app for consumers in Ivory Coast.

    The program will end on demo day at the end of March. Demo day is a time when those who participated in the Y Combinator go infront of global investors and pitch to raise even more money.

    The tech start-up was founded by Sam Gichuru who also founded the Nailab incubator in Nairobi.

    Gichuru has a history with Y Combinator. In 2015 he was involved in their fellowship program through Kuhustle, a recruitment start-up in which he is a co-founder. He said that Kuhusle still operates but hasn't scaled due to numerous challenges like platform leakage.

    “We keep it running and supporting users who benefit from it. It is really hard to manage two-sided marketplaces without the right resources,” Gichuru told Disrupt. 

    Since 2005, Y Combinator has invested in nearly three thousand companies including Dropbox, Airbnb, DoorDash, Stripe, Instacart and Coinbase.

    Y Combinator companies are valued to have a combined worth of over Ksh32 trillion.

    The vision of Kidato is to provide high-quality and affordable education to the growing middle class in Africa.

    Kidato also offers after-school classes in coding, chess, art, sport and languages.

    Jason Pau (right), the senior adviser for international programs for the Jack Ma Foundation and Sam Gichuru (left), the founder and chief executive officer of Nailab, during a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug 16, 2019, to give an update on the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative
    Jason Pau (right), the senior adviser for international programs for the Jack Ma Foundation and Sam Gichuru (left), the founder and chief executive officer of Nailab, during a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug 16, 2019, to give an update on the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative
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