How Kenya is becoming an emerging market of tech startups?

July 10, 2021

By Saaradha Thilagam S

There are certain countries in the world where we think that technological development would be backward and subpar. But Kenya took a strong step against changing the most generalized statement of the era.

The government of Africa has spared no expense in helping Kenya rise as the continent’s tech hub. Kenya is a place where it supports 200+ startups with a $1 billion fund (Including tech giants like IBM, Microsoft, etc).

Now, let’s get to know how Kenya became an emerging market of tech startups: the Silicon Savannah of the African continent, and also 3 marketplace-based businesses that flourish in the country.

Scope of online startups in Kenya:

The online startups in Kenya are welcomed when it comes to consumer-based products or services. The E-commerce market shows a high level of turnover, almost 20 times more than what was expected from these businesses.

Kenya’s Data Protection Act has been very strict in regulating website owners, as some parts of Africa still feel unsafe making online purchases.

Therefore, this is exactly the right time to be starting an online business, especially an online marketplace-based business in Kenya.

A Tech Hub in Kenya: Silicon Savannah

The African tech movement started in 2007, and through 2010, they understood what their people wanted. “Consumers need to be met” before technological uprisings.

These are the four points that they wanted to take care of firstly:

  • Digitized payment. (mobile money)
  • Crowdsourcing app.
  • Tech incubator model. (African based)
  • And a genuine ICT policy from the African government.

They introduced M-PESA, a mobile payment app developed by Kenyan telecom company Safaricom. It has a retail banking infrastructure, and now it has around 6 million users who transfer billions to their bank accounts.

3 reasons how Kenya became Silicon Savannah:

These are the 3 main reasons that made Kenya the Silicon Savannah of Africa;

1. Focus on consumerism:

The government of Kenya focuses on mending what has been broken and giving priority to the needs of the people. Most tech startups in Kenya are solution-based, they work on building their country and their economy.

They use such solution-based businesses to assess the market, the people, and buyers’ behavior through data. And they come up with more potential business models that might increase their standard of living.

Kenya has an ambitious goal of turning the country into an upper-middle-income society within 2030.

2. Growing talent pool:

They invited Google, Siemens, Airtel, Cisco, etc to create an iHub ecosystem for the Kenyans to survive and create the tech hub of their dreams.

They conduct boot camps for the next generation of coders and techno-savvy people.

3. Government and other investments:

South Africa, Nigeria, and Rwanda are the regions where innovation is booming. Despite the COVID-19 situation in Nairobi. Kenya managed to pull off a government funding of Sh21.4 billion to maintain their startups.

Since 2006, they have been getting funding to bridge the tech gaps between the surrounding countries of Kenya.

3 marketplace based businesses in Kenya that flourishes:

As we discussed already- Silicon Savannah is all about technology moving towards consumerism. Let’s jump into knowing about the successful marketplace startups in Kenya now, shall we?

1. Sendy:

Sendy is a hyper-local on-demand delivery app – its objective is to connect the courier services and the delivery partners. It helps both the end-users and other businesses to connect locally.

It was founded in the year 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. The notable feature in the app is that it has multiple dropoff locations for the same order with digitized payments.

2. Yum:

Yum is an on-demand food delivery services platform from Nairobi. The specialty of this food delivery marketplace is that they have their own delivery unit as well.

It was founded in the year 2012. The investors are Zephyr peacock and 88mph.

3. Lori:

Lori is an online marketplace for cargo transportation services. It coordinates the carriers and the network cargo providers. It specializes in superior real-time tracking systems and prides itself on its techno supply chain management.

It was founded in the year 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, with $45 million in funding.

These are some of the details that you should be knowing about the tech startups of Kenya. And if the marketplace ideas intrigued you, maybe you should check out our website RentALLScript. We offer unique online marketplace solutions.

Do you have more questions? Ping us on WhatsApp or drop us an email at [email protected]

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