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Kenya’s Top 10 Highest Funded Startups and Tech Companies in 2018

Founder360 / Kenya Startup Report 2018

Funding Report 2018

Kenya’s Top 10 Highest Funded Startups and Tech Companies in 2018

According to our recently released Kenya Startup Funding Report 2018, Kenyan startups and technology companies closed 2018 with a record US$126 million raised over 41 disclosed deals.

A large portion of this was bagged by Cellulant at US$47.5 million in a Series C funding which represented more than 37% of all the deals. This figure also signified the maturity levels in the Kenyan ecosystem to attract big-ticket rounds.

Today we highlight the 10 highest funded startups in Kenya in 2018 which collectively attracted approximately US$111.4 million.


Cellulant – US$47.5M

Year Founded: 2004
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Bolaji Akinboro, Ken Njoroge
Industry: FinTech
Funding Stage: Series C
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: The Rise Fund, Endeavor Catalyst, and Satya Capital

Cellulant Founders: From L-R – Bolaji Akinboro, Ken Njoroge | Image Credit: Cellulant

Cellulant’s digital payments platform delivers connected, flexible payment options for consumers and businesses, and works with financial institutions, governments, and mobile network operators to increase transparency and expand their reach in Africa.

Building on a business model that first debuted in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, the company has since expanded its services across 11 African markets serving over 40 million people with roughly 12% of Africa’s mobile consumers using its solutions.

Twiga Foods – US$17M

Year Founded: 2014
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Grant Brooke, Peter Njonjo
Industry: E-Commerce / B2B Supply 
Funding Stage: Series B
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: TLcom Capital LLP, International Finance Corporation, Wamda Capital, DOB Equity, 1776 , Adolph H Lundin

Twiga Co-founder: Grant Brooke

Twiga Foods sources quality produce from thousands of farmers around Kenya, providing them with a ready guaranteed market, and through their mobile-based supply platform, vendors can order fresh and high-quality groceries and vegetables and Twiga reliably deliver to their shops at below market prices.

M-Kopa – US$10M

Year Founded: 2011
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Jesse Moore, Chad Larson, Nick Hughes
Industry: CleanTech
Funding Stage: Unknown
Funding Type: Equity
Investors:  FinDev Canada, CDC, Generation Investment Management, LGT Venture Philanthropy

From L-R – M-Kopa Co-founder & CEO: Jesse More, a customer and an M-Kopa team member | Image Credits: Disrupt Africa

M-Kopa provides pay-as-you-go” energy services for off-grid customers across emerging markets.

Through its proprietary, patented technology platform that combines embedded GSM + mobile payments, the company had already connected 600,000 homes across Africa, providing 75 million hours of kerosene-free lighting each month with its battery-powered systems that come with lights, phone-charging, and a solar-powered radio.

Africa’s Talking – US$8.5M

Year Founded: 2010
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Samuel Gikandi, Eston Kimani
Industry: Information Technology
Funding Stage: Series A 
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: IFC Venture Capital Group, Orange Digital Ventures, Social Capital


Africa’s Talking Founder & CEO: Samuel Gikandi | Image Credits: Nation

Africa’s Talking is a mobile solutions firm integrating reliable two-way SMS, voice, and USSD functionality across mobile providers in Africa.

The firm offers bulk SMS, shortcodes, and premium SMS, USSD, MMS, and customized mobile messaging solutions for individuals, businesses, and developers.

Read: Kenyan Startups Raised a Record US$126M in 2018 [Slide Deck]

BitPesa – US$7.2M

Year Founded: 2013
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Amy Ludlum, Charlene Chen, Elizabeth Rossiello
Industry: FinTech
Funding Stage: Series B
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: Sompo Holdings

BitPesa COO: Charlene Chen: Founder & CEO: Elizabeth Rossiello | Image Credits: Disrupt Africa

BitPesa is a digital foreign exchange and payment platform that leverages blockchain settlement to significantly lower the cost and increase the speed of business payments to and from frontier markets.

BitPesa is a market-maker in every major African currency and opens corridors for business payments and trade between frontier markets and the rest of the world.

Lori Systems – US$6.2M

Year Founded: 2016
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Josh Sandler, Jean-Claude Homawoo
Industry: Logistics 
Funding Stage: Seed
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: FJ Labs


Lori Systems Co-founder: Josh Sandler | Image Credits: CIO

Lori Systems is a startup building the cutting-edge logistics infrastructure for trucking in Africa. The startup is tackling a massive issue – $180 billion is spent annually on haulage across Africa, which means that up to 75% of a product’s cost is due to logistics (compared to 6% in the US).

Lori’s tech-enabled and operations-driven marketplace efficiently connects transport to cargo. The supply chain management system brings transparency and has pushed significantly improved flexibility, reliability, and cost savings (savings upwards of 18%).

WeFarm – US$5M

Year Founded: 2015
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Kenny Ewan
Industry: AgriTech
Funding Stage: Seed
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: True Ventures, Skype, WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg, Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan, LocalGlobe, Accelerated Digital Ventures, Atomico Founder Niklas Zennström, Norrsken Foundation

Wefarm, World’s Largest Farmer-to-Farmer Network, Reaches over One Million Users

A Diagram showing how WeFarm works | Image Credits: WeFarm

Wefarm is the world’s largest digital farmer-to-farmer network that allows  small-scale farmers to connect with one another to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation through online and over SMS

Wefarm helps farmers produce a higher quality product, increase yields, gain insight into marketing pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, source the best seeds, fertilizer, and loans, diversify agricultural interests, and much more.

Paygo Energy – US$3.5M

Year Founded: 2015
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Mike Hahn, Nick Quintong, Fausto Marcigot
Industry: CleanTech
Funding Stage: Not Specified
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: Undisclosed

Founder360 / PayGo Energy

PayGo Energy Team | Image Credits: Disrupt Africa

PayGo Energy is a distribution service that harnesses the power of pay-as-you-go-technology to bring modern fuel to homes everywhere. Founded in 2015, Paygo develops smart metering systems that monitor customer’s gas consumption and predicts when the gas will run out and automatically contacting the Paygo team for a replacement. This enables the customers to prepay for cooking gas using mobile money.

mSurvey – US$3.5M

Year Founded: 2012
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Kenfield Griffith, Louis Majanja
Industry: SaaS
Funding Stage: Series A
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: TLcom Capital Partners, Social Capital, Kapor Capital, Golden Palm

Founder360 / mSurvey

mSurvey Co-founder: Kenfield Griffith | Image Credits: Nairobi Garage

mSurvey is a mobile survey platform that is revolutionizing how businesses interact with their customers by providing them with unprecedented access to real-time, direct feedback at their fingertips. 

The startup solves the problem of customer service to market research with a technology that helps companies reducing churn, improving customer service, and increasing their Net Promoter Score.

Little Cab (Little) – US$3M

Year Founded: 2016
Country: Kenya
Founder/CEO: Kamal Budhabhatti
Industry: Ride-Hailing / Ride-Sharing
Funding Stage: Unspecified
Funding Type: Equity
Investors: Unspecified

Little Founder and CEO: Kamal Budhabhatti | Image Credits: Standard

Founded in 2016 by Kamal Budhabhatti under his parent company, Craft Silicon, Little is a ride-hailing / ride-sharing company that operates a cab-hailing, boda-boda and shuttle sharing service with a presence in Kenya Uganda and Zambia.  Little does not own or operate its own fleet, but aggregates small operators and single vehicle owners. The company has more than 5,000 active drivers and 345,000 active users in its platform.

Kenyan Startups Raised US$126.8M over 41 disclosed deals in 2018. Find out more by downloading a FREE copy of the Kenya Startup Funding Report 2018 now.


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CEO and Founder at Founder360° Magazine.

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