Kandua: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Founded in 2014 by Arjun Khoosal and Sayo Folawiyo, Kandua helps anyone who needs work done in their home – from small fixes to major renovations – to find a vetted, background-checked professional.
It also helps independent contractors and small businesses to make a name for themselves and to grow their businesses by helping them find new customers, offering them access to training opportunities, and providing them with a suite of easy-to-use tech tools such as a website, a quoting and invoicing app, and digital payments.
Unlike traditional directories, Kandua uses algorithmic matching technology and vets, reviews, and background-checks professionals before connecting them with anyone who needs their services.
Kandua also provides a digital platform that connects small service businesses with customers in need of jobs done.
Moreover, the platform provides these contractors with financial, operational, and marketing tools to improve their professionalism and access to digital financial services to improve their financial health.
The gig economy, which includes platform workers, informal daily wage laborers, and more, has been heralded as the future of work in Africa. In South Africa, $4B is spent every year on home services, mainly provided by gig workers – the informal independent contractors and small businesses that dominate the sector.
These workers struggle to invest in professionalizing their offerings and lack access to formal financial services, such as credit and insurance. In addition, they struggle to find work consistently; they are limited by word-of-mouth prospecting, paper-based processes, strong competition, and a lack of marketing capabilities and tools.
Therefore, Kandua helps gig workers by providing a digital platform that connects home service professionals with customers in need of jobs.
Moreover, the platform provides pros with financial, operational, and marketing tools to improve their professionalism and access to digital financial services to improve their financial health. Kandua’s mission is to shorten the distance between having a skill and making a living from it.
How it Works
Kandua is free to use. Pros (service providers) pay a small fee to be connected to relevant customers.
To connect you to a relevant Pro, they ask you for your contact information and also ask a few questions about your needs. Kandua shares the information about your job with Pros with the right skills in your area.
Your contact information is stored securely and only shared with a maximum of five Pros so that they can get in touch with you to give you a quote.
When Pros get in touch with you, they will share their contact information as well as a link to their Kandua profile where you can see photos and reviews of their work.
Kandua keeps prices low and transactions risk-free by holding your money in escrow as a mutually entrusted third party and they will not release the funds to the Pro assigned to your project unless you sign off on the job and indicate that you’re satisfied with the work.
In the unlikely event that things go wrong, you’re eligible for a full refund—which provides much more protection than was traditionally possible.
In addition to this, paying up-front nets you a sizable 10% discount.
Kandua’s offering includes a marketplace as well as specific features for both customers and providers. Customers post information about the jobs they need to be done on the platform.
Pros buy credits from Kandua, which they spend to have the opportunity to provide the customer with a quote for services.
Customers receiving a quote are provided a link to the pro’s Kandua profile, where they can view verified ratings and reviews from previous customers, information about the pro and their business, and photos of their previous work.
They can use this information, together with the formal quotes that pros can send to them directly through Kandua, to decide on who to hire. Customers are also able to choose a Kandua pre-set price for their work for certain kinds of jobs.
Kandua is specifically designed to ease use for pros who may have lower literacy or digital abilities.
For example, they can be onboarded through a variety of channels including phone, online, and WhatsApp channels.
Pros can make and receive payments through a variety of methods and use the Kandua platform to engage and keep track of their customers.
This not only allows service providers to enter into the digital economy but also gives them an organizational platform through which they can manage their business.
Kandua also increases workers’ access to tailored, embedded financial services and is testing products like vehicle financing and working credit.
For example, Kandua offers invoice-based financing to pros allowing them to receive their money quicker than the customer’s payment terms.
These innovations have the potential to not only enhance Kandua’s offerings, but also provide tools to upskill their pros, get them paid faster, and improve their livelihoods.
Sayo Folawiyo is the Co-Founder at Kandua.
Sayo is passionate about tech entrepreneurship on the African continent.
He has extensive experience in the telecommunications, media, and technology sectors. With the soothing voice of a podcast host, he pushes the team and the strategy forward.
He attended The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Arjun Khoosal is the Co-Founder and CTO at Kandua.
Arjun is a well-decorated informatician, obsessed with finding elegant solutions to real, really big problems.
He finished three majors in three years (math, statistics, computer science) and took actuarial science during the first two.
His subsequent master’s in bioinformatics yielded promising research (cited over 2000 times) but was cut short when he dropped out to found Kandua, where he drives product and technology.
He attended the University of Cape Town.
Investors & Funding Rounds
Kandua has raised a pre-Series A funding round to help it expand its product offering and grow further.
The startup, which has raised seed funding in the past and was accepted into Catalyst Fund’s inclusive fintech accelerator, has now raised an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A capital from a consortium of investors that include Knife Capital and Allan Gray E-Squared Ventures (AGEV).
The investment will enhance business development efforts, expand Kandua’s product offering, and solidify profitable growth channels.
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