At least six Kenyan technology startups have been wiped out by challenging market circumstances and financial difficulties this year alone, undermining the country’s aspirations to become the Silicon Savanah of Africa.
A number of companies, including Kune Foods, Notify Logistics, WeFarm, BRCK, Sendy, and Sky-Garden, have either completely or partially shut down operations.
There has been a further decline in the IT industry in Kenya, with two companies leaving the market only this month.
SkyGarden, an online e-commerce platform, has become the latest victim.
In preparation for going out of business after 5 successful years in operation, SkyGarden handed out layoff notifications to employees earlier last week.
The startup revealed.
The statement followed Sendy’s decision to shutter its retail and supplier platform, Sendy Supply, and lay off 20% of its workers. The startup blamed Western countries for hiking interest payments, causing a funding crisis for Kenyan start-ups.
Founder and CEO Mesh Alloys remarked.
Notify Logistics and WeFarm both shut down in July, citing high operating expenses and harsh market circumstances as reasons.
Notify used a rent-a-shelf approach to rent space to small businesses that couldn’t afford a physical outlet. The company was 5 years old.
The WeFarm mobile app served as a storefront where farmers could browse and purchase agricultural supplies and services, as well as leave ratings and comments for one another.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has already been in existence for eight years.
Kune, a food tech company co-founded by Robin Reecht (a Frenchman) and others, was the first to shut down in June. The company shut down due to escalating operating expenses and an inability to get Sh30 million in investor funding.