- The construction industry in Kenya is so big that it is among the few globally that expanded amidst the COVID lockdowns of 2020. And it is not showing any signs of slowdown with the country’s data agency — the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics — projecting it to grow at an average rate of 6.1% over the next three years.
Kenya’s Jumba, a tech startup working to rationalise the construction supply chain in Africa, has raised a US$1 million pre-seed funding round to build a digital business-to-business platform for the predominantly offline construction sector.
And while most of this growth is attributable to planned mega projects by the government, the growth of real estate, buoyed by an ever-increasing demand for housing, is another precursor for transformation. Yet Kenya’s construction sector remains vastly rudimentary, with nearly all supplies, even by resellers, being purchased physically.
Launched in April, Jumba creates efficiencies in the construction materials supply chain by connecting manufacturers to hardware stores. Hardware store owners who place orders through Jumba’s platform benefit from standardised pricing, product selection and reliable delivery.
“The market has been very receptive to us. We are currently available in Nairobi, and have begun our expansion to Garissa, Nakuru, Njoro and other urban centers across Kenya. We are expanding our work with suppliers to improve the availability of construction materials in Kenya and in East Africa,” said Jumba co-founder and CEO Kagure Wamunyu.
The startup’s US$1 million pre-seed round was raised from investors including Enza Capital, Seedstars International Ventures, Chandaria Capital, Future Africa, Logos Ventures and First Check Africa, as well as several angel investors, among them startup founders and industry experts.
“Africa’s populations are rapidly growing and increasingly urbanising, and the construction industry is a core economic engine supporting sustainable growth Across Africa. In a US$10 trillion industry yet to be reshaped by technology, we are thrilled to be backing Kagure and this exceptional team building Jumba,” said Mike Mompi, managing partner at Enza Capital.