Kune, a Kenya-based foodtech startup, has announced raising $1 million in pre-seed funding. This raise was led by pan-African early-stage VC, Launch Africa Ventures. Consonance Investments, Liechtenstein-based investment company, Century Oak Capital GmbH, and Pariti, an ecosystem management firm also invested in this round.
Founded in December 2020 by France-born Robin Reecht, Kune’s objective is to provide ready-to-eat food services at a moderate price.
Reecht revealed, per TechCrunch, that when he moved to Kenya in 2020, he found it difficult to get affordable and well-cooked food anywhere other than Uber Eats, Jumia, or Glovo with foods that go for $10. The alternative — cheap roadside food — didn’t taste as good.
He took it upon himself to proffer a sustainable solution to bridge the gap between great food and affordable pricing. The following month, he started Kune.
Reecht tested for product/market fit by creating a trial in a week, from which he got 50 excited customers who had probably been waiting for such a solution. After the trial, his customer base grew to 150 people, and the startup sold over 500 meals.
Food prices cost as little as $4, and Kune raised $50,000 from customers to sustain operations.
Business was so good that the startup’s small team struggled to meet their orders. Consequently, the quality of service dropped, and the company decided to retreat and take a break.
It turned out to be a time to rethink their strategy, as Kune resumed operations with more hires. The company began building a factory with the capacity to cook and package 5,000 meals daily. Kune was ready to raise, and investors took notice.
Two months later, with a million-dollar check in hand, Kune is one of the first non-fintech startups in the African tech ecosystem to raise a seven-figure pre-seed.
This funding will be used to internalise all production and human resources capacities, including hiring more team members, completing the factory building, and launching officially in August.
Launch Africa’s Director of Operation, Baljinder Sharma, believes that having complete autonomy over their supply chain will provide massive growth and scaling opportunity for the startup; hence plans include owning a fleet of 100 electric motorcycles and hiring 100 female riders by 2022.
Reetch also revealed plans to create a food media company where Kenyans will be kept up-to-speed with the global food scene and export African foods to Europe and the US by creating weight-reduction, retail, and microwaveable meal offerings.
The aim is to be the go-to for quality, freshly-made and affordable ready-to-eat meal delivery service and be a number one culinary major. With Kune anticipating a fast growth rate, we just might have more founders looking into Africa’s foodtech space.