Top Startups / May 8, 2022
Asaf Fybish

Asaf is an investor and startup growth advisor. He specializes in organic marketing and he's our Chief of Stash

Top Kenyan Startups To Watch in 2022

Kenya is world renowned for being home to a huge array of beautiful wildlife, but the economy is starting to blossom now too. The capital Nairobi is a hotspot for financial success and there have been some very impressive funding rounds taking place that are supporting quickly top startups. We will look at some of those Kenyan startups that are managing to steam ahead in the East African economy. In this article we will see twenty-one start-ups to watch in 2022.


1. MarketForce

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Beniamino Bruno, Mesongo Sibuti, Tesh Mbaabu

MarketForce is a Kenyan startup that was founded in 2018 and is currently based in the capital, Nairobi. The company provides a digital platform for the retail distribution of various goods and financial services to consumers across the entire African continent. This allows for goods to be paid for digitally rather than with cash.

Since being founded, the company has gone through eight rounds of startup funding, with the most recent funding round taking place in February 2022. These funding rounds have allowed MarketForce to agree to deals with 22 investors. These investors have invested a collective total of $42.7 Million into MarketForce.

2. OkHi

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 11-50

Founders: Timbo Drayson

OkHi is one of those Kenyan startups that claim to be "the world's next generation addressing system". It offers services to all sorts of industries including emergency services, ecommerce, mobile lending, banking and last mile delivery. Not knowing an exact address when making a delivery or visit can be costly. Time, fuel and money is wasted driving around trying to find the exact spot. OkHi is here to solve that issue. With verified addresses and GPS location, the software development kit is making finding the right spot easier. It can also improve the checkout speed and experience for ecommerce sites.

Timbo Drayson founded OkHi in 2014 and it now employs over eleven employees but fewer than fifty. The start-up has a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya and has completed six funding rounds. With fifteen investors, the start-up has raised $4M in total funding to date.

3. Mydawa

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 11-50

Founders: Neil O'Leary

Mydawa is a startup that works in the wellness, apps and e-commerce spaces. Mydawa offers its customers an affordable online pharmacy with medicines and wellness products. It is the first registered online pharmacy in Kenya. Repeat prescriptions can be bought online at Mydawa, saving time and money. It is super convenient as it can all be done from your phone and you can have your medicine delivered in four hours.

Neil O'Leary was the person who founded Mydawa in 2017 and it now employs between eleven and fifty people and has a headquarters base in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. $9.2M total funding was raised in three funding rounds with three investors between March 2017 and November 2021.

4. M-Shule

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 1-10

Founders: Claire Mongeau

Among the top Kenyan startups to watch in 2022 is also the edtech company M-Shule. It is a learning platform that was designed to be used by students of all ages. The teaching is personalised and delivered through SMS, making the learning experience a mobile one. It was created with artificial intelligence to be able to access low income students who may be offline, which is how it stands out from so many of the other digital and remote learning platforms.

In 2016, Claire Mongeau founded M-Shule which now has a headquarters located in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. The company employs between one and ten individuals and has three investors. In four funding rounds, the Kenyan start-up has raised $165K in total funding.

5. Angaza Elimu

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 11-50

Founders: Kiko Muuo

The next startup on the list is another Kenyan edtech company. It is called Angaza Elimu and is also using artificial intelligence to help deliver its teaching. With over 35 thousand students active on the e-learning platform on a daily basis, Angaza Elimu is teaching what students need to learn.

Kiko Muuo founded Angaza Elimu in 2017 and it now employs between eleven and fifty people. The headquarters are located in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. The company has completed two funding rounds, raising a total of $100K funding with two investors.

6. Synnefa

Year Founded: 2021

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 11-50

Founders: Taita Ngetich

This startup was only founded last year, so it is fresh to the scene. It is an agtech start-up working in the agriculture, greentech, SaaS, internet of things and machine learning sectors. The startup goes by the name of Synnefa. Synnefa has created a farm record dashboard that enables users to make farming more simple. Artificial intelligence aids the online dashboard software that can analyse the farms' data to reduce guesswork and costs.

Taita Ngetich founded Synnefa in August 2021 having already completed three funding rounds, then completed another in December 2021, which made the total funding amount $1.5M. It has an employee size of between eleven and fifty employees and a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya.

7. Afriagrimark

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 1-10

Founders: Bonface Nyalwal

Afriagrimark is another agricultural technology company from Kenya that is worth watching this year. It uses logistics to make the agricultural marketplace better connected. The geolocation tool brings drivers, vegetable vendors, farmers and suppliers together. It creates easy access to the market with fair prices for fresh food as well as instant order processing which speeds up the job.

Bonface Nyalwal founded the Kenyan startup in 2020. With an employee size of between one and ten people, the company also now has a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. One funding round so far, that took place in April 2022, raised $10K total funding.

8. Farmula

Year Founded: 2019

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 1-10

Founders: Ahmed Madani, Ibrahim Abdulmalik, Jacky Kimani, Vivian Opondoh

Farmula is our next startup on the list. It works in the agriculture industry using agtech and web development to make selling an easier process for farmers. It is a B2B (business to business) platform where one farmer can order straight from another farmer. The platform also helps farmers to get the right price for their own products.

Founded in 2019, Farmula is using USSD dialling codes and chat boxes to connect farmers across Kenya. It was founded by Ahmed Madani, Ibrahim Abdulmalik, Jacky Kimani and Vivian Opondoh. The headquarters are located in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya and the company has an employee size of between one and ten people. Through just one funding round, the startup has raised $100K total funding.

9. Chemsasa Solutions Ltd

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 1-10

Founders: John Katua

Adding to the agricultural Kenyan startups count is Chemsasa Solutions Ltd. Also known as just Chemsasa Solutions, it more specifically works in the animal feed industry. It is an e-commerce company that provides its users with a platform to buy and sell farming equipment.

John Katua founded Chemsasa Solutions in 2020 and has an employee base of one to ten employees. The headquarters is in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. There is currently no information about any funding rounds for the company.

10. Churpy

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 11-50

Founders: Kennedy Mukuna

Churpy is another Kenyan startup to watch in 2022. This company operates in the fintech, financial services and payments sectors. Churpy provides a product that makes collecting payments from sales easier; the integrated receivables management tool helps businesses make the process smoother. The company also offers its customers a marketplace for invoice payments.

Kennedy Mukuna founded Churpy in 2020 and employs between eleven and fifty people. The headquarters are located in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya and the business has so far completed one funding round. That round was supported by three investors, and raised the start-up $1M total funding.

11. ImaliPay

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 1-10

Founders: Oluwasanmi Akinmusire, Tatenda Furusa

Starting off the list of Kenyan start-ups to watch in 2022 is the fintech business ImaliPay. It is a finance platform that offers products and services to freelancers and blue collar gig workers to use. The business offers tools such as the ability to build a credit score, save as you earn and pay back whilst you earn. Specific Application Programming Interfaces have been created for developers to place into the app.

In 2020, Oluwasanmi Akinmusire and Tatenda Furusa founded ImaliPay and it now has a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. It employs under ten people, but has twenty investors. From the first of June 2020, to the seventh of April 2022, the start-up has completed seven funding rounds. From this, ImaliPay has managed to raise $3.9M total funding.

12. Apollo Agriculture

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Benjamin Njenga, Earl St Sauver, Eli Pollak

Apollo Agriculture is the next Kenyan start-up and is yet another company from the agriculture sector. The start-up claims to aim to bring commercial farming to everyone. Apollo Agriculture offers small farmers financial services, helping them access financing, markets and improve their profits. The machine learning technology uses remote sensing to monitor farms and help improve the yield.

Benjamin Njenga, Earl St Sauver and Eli Pollak founded Apollo Agriculture in 2016 and have a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya. The company employs between two hundred and fifty one and five hundred employees. Over eight funding rounds, nineteen investors have been involved and raised $52.2M total funding.

13. AfricaSokoni

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 51-100

Founders: Ebrima Fatty

AfricaSokoni is a startup in Kenya that was founded in 2017 and is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. The company helps other businesses in Africa to digitize their supply chain operations, which allows them to get access to customers and income across a wider potential market size.

Since being founded, the company has gone through four rounds of startup funding, with the last round taking place in 2020. These funding rounds have been supported by a single investor, allowing the business to raise $995,000. The business has also made a single acquisition.

14. Wowzi

Year Founded: 2019

HQ: Kileleshwa, Kenya

Size: 51-100

Founders: Hassan Bashir, Mike Otieno

Wowzi is a startup in Kenya that was founded in 2019 and is currently based in Kileleshwa, Kenya. The company aims to help other businesses by allowing them to automate their influencer marketing operations through messaging and pulling customer data to the business for it to be analyzed, which helps to improve the decision-making ability of these companies.

Since being founded, the company has gone through two rounds of startup funding, with the most recent taking place in December 2021. From these funding rounds, the company has generated support from nine investors. From these investors, the business has successfully managed to raise $3.2 Million.

15. Copia Global

Year Founded: 2012

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Jonathan Lewis, Tracey Turner

Copia Global is a startup in Kenya that was founded in 2012 and is currently based in the capital city, Nairobi. The company provides a consumer catalogue service, along with order fulfillment. This allows customers in the developing world to get easy and convenient access to goods that they would potentially struggle to source ordinarily.

Since being founded, the company has gone through seven rounds of startup funding and the most recent round has taken place in January 2022.  These funding rounds have allowed the company to agree to deals with 13 investors, with the total value of the deals reaching $103 Million.

16. Big Square

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Morne Deetlefs

Big Square is a startup in Kenya that was founded in 2013 and is currently based in the capital city, Nairobi. The company has a chain of fast food restaurants in the African country, serving meals prepared with local produce and ingredients and the business does this due to its commitment to assisting the local economy whilst providing great food and a friendly service to its customers.

The business has gone through one round of startup funding since being founded, with this funding round seeing support from a single investor. The efforts of this investors has allowed Big Square to raise a figure of 404 Million KES.

17. Cytonn Investments

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Westlands, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Edwin Dande

Cytonn Investments is another Kenyan start-up worth watching in 2022. It operates in the industrial and real estate investment industries. The company offers an alternative to the typical investment solutions for global institutional investors and other investors. It is focussed entirely on serving the customers' needs, essentially Cytonn Investments invests in its clients, by helping them find the right financial solution for the best asset management. The business claims to improve its own efficiency by relying 'on technology'.

The Kenyan start-up was founded in 2014 by Edwin Dande. It now employs over two hundred and fifty one people, but under five hundred people. The headquarters are in the Westlands of Nairobi Area, Kenya. In one funding round that took place in June 2018, the business raised KES2.1B with one investor.

18. Poa Internet

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 51-100

Poa Internet is a Kenyan startup that was founded in 2015 and is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. The company is aiming to assist with the increased infrastructure development in Kenya by providing low cost internet access for individuals and small companies in both rural and low income communities within the country.

Since being founded, the company has gone through three rounds of startup funding, with these funding rounds being supported by a pair of investors. These investors have allowed the company to raise a figure of $38 Million.

19. Opibus

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Size: 51-100

Founders: Filip Gardler

Opibus is a cleantech start-up working in Kenya. It operates in various industries including the automotive and electrical vehicles industries, electronics, manufacturing, sustainability, and renewable energy industries. Opibus, or more recently known as Roam, has an aim to make electric vehicles and a more sustainable way of transportation, more accessible. Focussing on some of the worst vehicles in terms of pollution has allowed the start-up to work best towards a greener future. The company is trying to make the technology behind electric vehicles more cost effective.

The founder is Filip Gardler and the business was founded in 2017. With a headquarters in Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya and an employee size of between fifty one and one hundred people, the business is making its mark on the African electric mobility sector. Two funding rounds took place in November 2021, raising $7.5M total funding with three investors.

20. TopUp Mama

Year Founded: 2021

HQ: Nairobi, Kenya

Size: 51-100

Founders: Emilie Blauwhoff, Njavwa Mutambo

TopUp Mama is a Kenyan startup that was founded in 2021 and is currently based in the country's capital city, Nairobi. The company allows restaurants in the country to use digital means to order produce and ingredients for the meals that they sell. These orders can be made simply through SMS messaging, which improves the efficiency of the supply chain for these companies.

Since being founded, the company has gone through two rounds of startup funding, with these rounds being supported by a total of six investors. From these investments, the business has managed to raise $460,000.

21. Adrian Kenya

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: Kikuyu, Central, Kenya

Size: 251-500

Founders: Benard W. Njoroge

The final start-up from Kenya to watch in 2022 is Adrian Kenya. It is an information and communications technology (ICT) company that operates within the infrastructure, energy and telecommunications sectors, providing infrastructure and technology solutions to help businesses grow. Some of the solutions that Adrian Kenya offers include network infrastructure and data centres and the company works at identifying what is right for each business.

Adrian Kenya was founded by Benard W. Njoroge in 2013. The company has between two hundred and fifty one and five hundred employees; the start-up has four hundred permanent employees and over six hundred employees on a contract. There is currently no information available about any funding rounds, but it does have a headquarters based in Kikuyu, Central, Kenya.


FAQs

What Are The Strongest Sectors in Kenya?

The power sector is large in Kenya, especially in sustainable, renewable energy due to the access to geothermal energy, solar energy and wind energy. Agriculture is another large sector in Kenya, alongside manufacturing and information and communication technology.

How Many Startups Are There In Kenya?

There are over 1,000 start-ups in Kenya.

What is the Investment Landscape Like in Kenya?

Kenyan startups are steadily seeing more startup funding, with the Kenyan startup ecosystem raising a total of $292 Million in 2021, compared to $32.8 Million in 2017.

Top Kenyan Startups To Watch...
Asaf Fybish

Asaf is an investor and startup growth advisor. He specializes in organic marketing and he's our Chief of Stash

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