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6  HARDWARE RETAILER

             SA tech startup partners with French



                                    Development Agency



                                           Ishani Chetty: Editor, Ventureburn.com
                            South African tech startup, Kandua has partnered with the
                          Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French public
                             development finance body. The partnership will assist in
                           Kandua’s effort to promote and enable work opportunities for
                                                artisans in the country.


                    urther, it will enable   The startup reports that it has   escrow until the customer is
                    the overall growth      facilitated over R200-million in   satisfied with the completed
                    of the tech startup     work opportunities to date. Arjun   work. Kandua’s Fixed Price
                    and the formalisation   Khoosal, Kandua’s co-Founder and   payment system lowers the risks
          Ffor local artisans.              Chief Technology Officer provides   for customers and provides a
          Carl Bernadac, AFD’s Regional     insights into the aims of the tech   fair and guaranteed price. This
          Deputy Director, expresses that   startup and its service offering.  offering further enables businesses
          the French Development Agency                                        to partner with Kandua to use
          believes that Kandua is making a   “We founded Kandua with the       independent service providers for
          concerted effort to close the gap in   mission to shorten the distance   their repair and maintenance needs.
          unemployment for artisans across   between having a skill and making
          the country.                      a decent living from it, and this   In practice
                                            partnership helps to further that   Kandua Fixed Price has been
          “Kandua’s model demonstrates how   mission. Through our online       piloted through Kandua’s
          accessible technology can help to   platform and by doing background   partnership with Leroy Merlin,
          create employment opportunities   checks and verifying references    the French hardware and DIY
          and reduce social inequalities.   and reviews of the artisans and    retailer that recently entered the
          Creating a way for informal workers   SMEs, we make it easier for    South African market. Leroy Merlin
          to enter the formal economy and   customers to find trusted providers   shoppers can pay in-store for
          strengthening and enabling SMEs   for all their home needs, and for   installation services, rendered by
          has a positive effect on job creation   artisans and home service SMEs to   a certified Kandua contractor at a
          and economic growth. Technology   join the formal economy and grow   pre-negotiated price.
          can further scale up these efforts.   their businesses.”
          We are proud to support this                                         Digital commerce platforms and
          initiative and enable Kandua’s    New online systems                 the rise in smartphone penetration
          impact, at a time where it is more   The partnership with AFD will   help to unlock latent demand and
          needed than ever.”                enable the tech startup to transform   scale access to opportunities, as
                                            and modify its offering. The first of   described in a report by South
          Kandua                            its new developments are reported   Africa in the Digital Age (SADA).
          Established in 2014, Kandua’s     to be the introduction of Kandua
          business model is based on        Fixed Price. The feature of the fixed   Joe Rantho, a flooring service
          its online market place which     pricing aims to create transparency   provider attests to this: “Kandua
          focuses on providing home         in an industry that is notoriously   has helped me get new customers,
          services. Their online platform   opaque when it comes to pricing    and these people have also referred
          has vetted over 10 000 SMEs and   and customer cost.                 me to their friends, which is keeping
          independent individuals in more                                      me very busy. I’ve now become
          than 100 service categories such as   Kandua Fixed Price is a function   involved in big corporate customers
          plumbing, building, and other home   that matches customers with     Kandua is affiliated to. I would not
          maintenance and repair services.  a qualified service provider for   get to these customers without
          Kandua supports the formalisation   100 standard types of jobs,      Kandua. I go out of my way to keep
          of artisans, as well as SME growth,   at a predetermined price.The   my clients happy, and this is why
          by enabling market access and     payment system used on Kandua      they keep coming back, but before
          providing operational support     is facilitated via a secure online   Kandua, meeting new clients was
          through easy-to-use technology.   system and funds are held in       very difficult.”
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