Kenya’s ‘find-a-fixer’ Startup Fundis Pacing To Fix Informal Sector With New Raise

By  |  June 21, 2019

Kenya-based Fundis, an app that enables users find fixers recently raised seed funding in an undisclosed investment round championed by Kuria Capital, a family investment office based in Nairobi.

The new capital injection – received about a month ago – which marks the first known funding round for Fundis, is directly intended towards a tech overhaul, and according to the firm, scaling up has already run reconnaissance pilots in Nakuru, Kisumu and Nanyuki areas of Kenya.

In an electronic talk with WeeTracker yesterday, the startup said it has been working out further details on the funding with the investor. “We are keeping the sum undisclosed by way of a legal arrangement,” Fundis said.

Under the auspices of the Kuria Innovation Fund, which is the flagship initiative of the East African seed stage venture investment, the find-a-fixer platform is looking to raise a larger amount of money in the middle stages of 2020.

Fundis is looking to address the problems faced in Africa’s informal sector. In the continent, 85 percent of the employment is informal. According to the International Labor Organization, more than 60 percent of total Sub-Saharan African employment is in the informal sector. Yet the sector remains significantly underdeveloped. In Kenya, the informal sector represents a whopping 82.7 percent of employment.

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According to Fundis, the market is disorganized, lacks efficient access points, is hamstrung by poor service delivery, and drawn back by the lack of technological know-how.

The startup, however, is “excited about the fast-growing rate of the African gig economy, and we are doing the heavy lifting toward building an ecosystem where every fixer (fundi) can make a decent livelihood and improve their skills while at it.

Fundi is “sitting on a rocket that’s about to launch.” The startup has a solid two years’ experience in the informal sector. More so, their investor has experience in founding a similar company, Optimac Labour Solutions, which is focused on contractors and property agencies.

With these under its belt, the startup is doubling down on making the informal sector more functional with its mobile application.

“We acknowledge that skills acquisition in this sector is largely informal (apprenticeship) and we’re putting in place mechanisms to empower technicians (fundis) through up-skilling and the guarantee of continuous income on the platform.”

Featured Image: Financial Times

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