Jumba, a Kenyan based B2B construction technology platform has raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round aimed to fine-tune its technology and expand its reach to capture markets in major cities across Kenya.
The pre-seed round was led by Enza Capital with participation from Seedstars International Ventures, Chandaria Capital, Future Africa, Logos Ventures, First Check Africa and a number of angel investors.
Jumba CEO Kagure Wamunyu, said,“We have started to expand our products according to regional demands and the needs of hardware stores. The idea is to make Jumba the source of all construction materials in Kenya and, when we eventually grow, beyond its borders.”
The company was launched in April this year with a mission to help operators of hardware stores (construction materials retailers), which are found on almost every block, to seamlessly restock.It was co-founded by CEO Kagure Wamunyu and Miano Njoka .
Enza Capital’s managing partner Mike Mompi said, “Africa’s populations are rapidly growing and increasingly urbanizing, and the construction industry is a core economic engine supporting sustainable growth Across Africa. In a $10 trillion industry yet to be reshaped by technology, we are thrilled to be backing Kagure and the exceptional team building Jumba.”
According to Wamunyu ,the creation of Jumba was inspired by her experiences as a real estate entrepreneur, where she always faced inefficiencies in the purchases of building supplies due to fluctuating prices and random stockouts. Wamunyu, a civil engineer and contractor, who helped Uber roll out its services in Kenya, was also on the team that propelled Kobo360, a logistics tech startup to Africawide expansion. Njoka, her co-founder, is a software engineer who had previously co-invested with her in real estate projects.
As Jumba connects manufacturers with retailers, Wamunyu said the startup will also ensure that the small hardware stores will be connected to medium-sized ones near their regions from where they can easily update their inventories, taking away the pressure for spatial expansion.
“We will partner with different retailers in different neighborhoods who then can support the smaller ones, as opposed to working with a warehouse model. We will be supplying these big players and the smaller hardware stores will be picking their stock from these locations,” she said.
Jumba negotiates prices of products with manufacturers. It also allows resellers to pay for orders on delivery. Wamunyu says that they are also considering introducing the buy now, pay later option (BNPL) to allow their best-performing clients to broaden their stock and increase their earnings.
“BNPL can be used to help them stock more, and it is a product that will be introduced but it will be built on the back of the reseller’s order history,” said Wamunyu.
Jumba has hired Peace Osangir to lead the startup’s finance and risk component as its CFO. Osangir previously worked as the COO of Kopo Kopo, a payments company, and was the initial financial manager of Kenya’s first mobile lender, Mshwari, which is backed by East Africa’s biggest telecom Safaricom and regional bank NCBA.