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Kenyan food-tech startup Kune seeks US$3.5m for further expansion

KENYA – Kune Food, a Kenyan based cloud kitchen concept operator, is seeking to raise US$3.5 million from local and international investors in its second phase of fundraising.

Founded in 2020, Kune, aims to provide busy, modern Nairobians with access to freshly prepared meals at affordable prices.

The food-tech startup closed a pre-seed funding round worth US$1 million in June last year, to help it scale after a successful pilot, boost its factory capacity, strengthen research capabilities and delivery system.

The new financial boost is aimed to enable the company increase production capacity and expand to other towns in Kenya in the next 12 months as the demand for home-made healthy meals on order gains momentum.

Kune has officially begun commercial operations with four meal hubs located in strategic locations in the country’s capital, Nairobi.

The locations include Nairobi’s central business district along University Way, Sameer Business Park on Mombasa Road, Thika Road and Langata Road that will be fully operational by the end of March.

Currently, Kune is delivering over 400 meals a day with a projection to be serving over 1,000 meals a day by the end of this quarter.

“Our factory production and delivery infrastructure are fully in place for us to scale our operations with our unique offering. In the past few months, we have seen tremendous growth in demand owing to our dynamic menu and friendly prices,” Faith Mwendia, the Managing Director Kune said.

“We have invested heavily in research and development where we have a fully dedicated in-house team working consistently on our menu advancement so as to meet the changing demands of customers while also bridging the nutrition and price gap.”

The investment in its own production and own mobile app has also enabled it to reduce infrastructure costs with the benefits passed on to the consumer through affordable pricing of meals.

The company presently has the capacity to produce and deliver up to 8,000 meals per day with food prices ranging between Sh250 to Sh360 for a balanced meal including a fruit salad.

Kune sources for food from local suppliers and employs production efficiencies. At the moment it is serving three balanced-diet meals (two non-vegetarian and one vegetarian) a day.

The food industry is witnessing the entry and expansion of local and foreign players, attracted by growing spending on restaurant and takeout food by the country’s rich and middle-class households

Silvertree Holdings acquires UCOOK

Meanwhile, Silvertree Holdings has fully acquired UCOOK, a South African meal kit delivery firm, for ZAR187 million (US$12.3 million).

UCOOK is a meal kit delivery service that delivers sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients to a user’s doorstep. It was founded six years ago and is currently a market leader.

Silvertree Holdings had previously invested in the startup, which has now been acquired entirely, with co-founders David Torr, Christopher Verster-Cohen and Katherine Barry exiting the company and Silvertree’s Peter Allerstorfer and his colleagues taking over the executive reins.

The deal follows Ucook’s acquisition of Granadilla Eats mid last year, in collaboration with its sister entity Faithful to Nature (FTN).

Granadilla Eats is an online food and fresh produce delivery service that was founded out of the need for a trustworthy grocery delivery service during the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

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