Nearly two weeks ago, Kenya’s largely lively startup scene recorded what is effectively the largest ever pre-seed funding raised by a non-fintech startup, or perhaps any Kenyan startup for that matter.
Apparently, Kune - a foodtech startup that is barely six months old - had spotted a gap in the local ready-to-eat food business that it looked to fill with a robust cloud kitchen play. And the company had managed to close a USD 1 Mn pre-seed (actually USD 1.1 Mn) within two months, from a combination of European and African funders.
Sounds like an impressive feat that should bring cheer, fanfare, and admiration? Sure. Except that it mostly did the opposite - it drew jeers, disdain, and consternation, especially among the locals.
To them, the manner in which Kune’s Founder/CEO, Robin Reecht, had made the ‘food argument’ in the announcement was something they just couldn’t stomach. Too hard to swallow, it seemed.