Kenya’s Nailab Raises Over 5 Million to Support its Season 4 Startups


Startups-178X273CMNailab yesterday announced the increase of funding for the SN4 and SN3 enterprises from a previous Ksh 300,000 per enterprise to a total of over Kshs.5 million.

“It is important that we who make up the hub and tech ecosystem of ICT in Kenya continue to work with and support start-ups,” said Sam Gichuru, CEO and Co-Founder, Nailab. “The ideas and solutions showcased by this young people are not only addressing real customer needs and issues, but are also helping in the creation of local jobs and serving our young people in realizing financial independence.”

The announcement was made during the Demo day held at the incubator for its 4th demo of technology start-ups. The fourth batch, which is made up of four start-ups, is currently undergoing incubation and they unveiled fresh solutions aimed at addressing local challenges. They include Stock simulation, Designer fashion hub, E-Task management and an E- shoe designer store.

The Season 4 group was selected from hundreds of applications received by the incubator. They include Mode Mara, Young Freddie, TasKwetu and Hisa Play. The group has spent the last 90 days in the Nailab incubation program where they received high level mentoring, product development and professional training on different professional facets that help in the formation of a startup.

This is the second batch of ICT start-ups incubated under the ICT Authority contract granted to the incubator in June 2013 to help lower entry barriers for ICT entrepreneurs who want to implement and scale their business in Kenya. The SN3 team, had a similar event held earlier on in the year where they launched their solutions and have to date built a steady customer base.

The Government of Kenya is in a contract with the incubator for three years at a cost of approximately $1.6million.

Since its founding in 2010, Nailab has seen over 30 startups go through its incubation program and has 14 start ups making part of the existing alumni with an average revenue of slightly over Ksh. 500,000 per month each.

At the event, the 5 start-ups pitched their products to an audience made up of ICT industry experts with a view to building interest and gathering feedback on their solutions.

“Nailab’s entrepreneurial innovations are becoming valuable pacesetters in ICT in this country. With the likes of Eneza Education, Cladlight and many others that have gone through the program, we are proud to say that we can see the results and as ICTA, we will continue to explore and support entrepreneurs through programs such as this,” said the ICT Authority, Acting CEO, Mr. Victor Kyalo.

Mr. Gichuru went on to say,  “In light of our previous experience on the funding of the start-ups, we sought more capital injection into this businesses through our investor networks to ensure that we give entrepreneurs a greater chance of survival through the capital base. We are glad that this is now coming to light and we hope to keep raising funds for all the enterprises that we have the privilege of incubating.”

The group will continue in the program for another 3 months, in which they will work on refining their products and increasing customer acquisition.