Five Kenyan startups have each secured USD 49K funding after they successfully pitched to local and international investors.
The local startups which include Gjenge, ManPro, The Vlage, AHomes and MycoTile secured the funding having proven that they were investor-ready and depicted preparedness to bring change in the affordable housing sector.
The selected five beat 10 other startups in the competition contest that focused on affordable shelter solutions aimed at serving low-income people. The solutions offered included construction materials, waste management, water, sanitation and renewable energy.
Based on their capacity to absorb and after further due diligence, three of the startups will share a further USD 148K courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.
“These start-ups have put in a lot of work in their business ideas and we would have wished to match all of them with investors. However, we are compelled to go with the most investor-ready outfits,” said Chandaria Group CEO, Darshan Chandaria, who was a judge at the competition.
The judges were drawn from the real estate, financial and technology sectors.
Gjenge is a social enterprise recycling waste plastic into artistic construction products. AHomes is a startup that provides artisans with labour opportunities and certification while MycoTile provides alternative building material made from mushroom.
ManPro is a construction management system and The Vlage provides co-living spaces through their digital platform.
Mali Kodi , a cloud-based rental properties management system and Continental Renewable Energy Co. Limited (Corec), which Corec produces plastic lumber planks, resin-bonded roofing tiles and man hole covers, were also selected for possible funding.
According to Pangea Accelerator Team Lead Anne Lawi, the concept came to being out of the need to have affordable housing at the same time having to deal with key challenges such as high cost of construction due to high import duties, poor import logistics and an unfavourable tax regime.
“The purpose of this event is to encourage young and upcoming businesses that they can still be market-validated through access to investment opportunities,” said Ms Lawi.