The online recruitment market in Kenya is “set to explode soon”, according to Deborah Beaton, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Kama Kazi, with the startup looking for funding to stay at the forefront of this boom.
Kama Kazi provides an online platform linking jobseekers and employers. Jobseekers are pre-vetted by the startup to provide a reliable database of candidates for employers to consider; while jobseekers are offered training and assistance in finding the right work placement.
In an interview with Disrupt Africa, Beaton said the online recruitment market in Kenya has not to date seen much competition, with a few dominant players holding a “monopoly” over the market. However, she says this is about to change.
“The recruitment market in Kenya is just starting to take off, there is not a huge amount of competition from many other players but the key players have a monopoly. There are some key players in the online jobs board market as well as the traditional recruitment/search firm category. We are seeing many new players now beginning to enter the market so I think it is set to explode soon,” Beaton said.
Kama Kazi has endeavoured to be at the forefront of the online recruitment market in Kenya, encouraging the uptake of tech-based HR tools. However, maintaining the company has not been easy, with the startup having been wholly reliant on Beaton’s own savings and incoming funds to finance the company.
“The business has been funded simply through sales and through my own personal investment. The first two years entailed me often working two jobs and creatively working on separate projects and contracts to keep the business afloat. I personally put my savings into the initial startup and have taken a small loan as well in the region of US$25,000 in total,” Beaton says.
Nonetheless Beaton has grown the business to a gross monthly revenue of between KES500,000 (US$5,200) and KES700,000 (US$7,285); based on charging a fee for employers to access Kama Kazi’s database of pre-vetted candidates. The startup also charges a fee for successful candidate placements.
In order to take Kama Kazi to the next level and expand across the region, Beaton says the startup is now starting to look for investors.
“We are now looking for funding to grow our business and grow the model. Initial funding in the region of US$100,000 would allow us to expand but in the long term we would be looking at funds more in the region of US$500,000,” she says.
With these funds, Beaton intends to launch a franchise model, proving the model first in Kenya, followed by Rwanda and possibly Tanzania.
According to Beaton, the opportunities for entrepreneurs in Kenya are significant, as the market is open to new entrants, and consumers are quick to take up new solutions. With the right team, funding and support, she says ideas can “fly”.
“In some industries there is very little competition. Kenya is also very advanced in terms of reception to mobile technology and technology in general. Therefore, good simple ideas can fly very quickly.”