Kune, a Kenyan startup that prepares and delivers freshly-made, ready-to-eat meals at affordable prices, has closed a pre-seed funding round worth $1 million. The cash injection will help the startup scale its on-demand food service ahead of a planned launch in August.

The pre-seed funding round was led by Pan-African venture capital firm, Launch Africa Ventures, with participation from Century Oak Capital GmbH, Consonance and ecosystem management firm Pariti. 

Founded by French entrepreneur Robin Reecht in late 2020, Kune ran a successful pilot early this year during which it delivered 500 meals. The company targets busy Nairobians who need access to freshly prepared meals at a fraction of the costs restaurants typically charge.

Kune operates using a hybrid model. It combines both cloud and dark kitchen concepts, and all its meals are made and packaged on-site at its factory ‘hub’. After the meals are prepared, they are delivered on-demand directly to both Kune’s online, retail and corporate customers.

“After three intensive months spent structuring the company, finding land for our factory, and hiring key team members, I started fundraising. I’m delighted that Kune has attracted this level of interest from investors who immediately saw the potential to grow Kune not only in Kenya but across Sub-Saharan Africa,” Reecht said.

Kune will launch its freshly made meals and on-demand delivery service in August after its new factory is completed. According to the company, it has the capacity to produce up to 5,000 servings a day to Nairobi’s working class and middle-income customers.

Kune also promises that deliveries will be completed, on average, within a 30 minute time frame. Currently, Kune controls the entire supply chain, from cooking to packaging to delivery with its own drivers and motorbikes. By early 2022, the company has plans to build its own fleet of 100 electric motorcycles.

Over the next few months, Kune plans to expand offerings to include microwavable meals, weight reduction meals and retail meals targeting European and U.S. clients.

“Launch Africa is excited to be leading the first round of financing for this exciting new startup in the Kenyan food sector,” said Baljinder Sharma, director of Launch Africa Ventures. “Leveraging the cloud kitchen model and owning the entire supply chain provides a massive growth and scaling opportunity for Kune Africa, and we are looking forward to seeing the business take off and grow.”

Kune is one out of a few  foodtech startups operating in Africa. Other prominent names in the nascent foodtech ecosystem are Nigeria-based Eden Life, OrderIn in South Africa, and Uganda’s Bringo Fresh.

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Michael Ajifowoke Author

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