Kenya’s Sumuni takes local hiring market online

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Kenyan tech startup Sumuni is striving to take the hiring and renting of equipment and services online with its digital platform.

Sumuni connects companies and individuals interested in renting, hiring and leasing equipments and services with suppliers, looking to simplify the whole process for all.

“We realised it takes valuable time and energy to look for a reliable vendor or individual who has the item or services you need to hire in a particular time,” chief executive officer (CEO) Awil Osman told Disrupt Africa.

“With our verified list of businesses and individuals, you can find what you’re looking for in a click.”

Launched last year by a team of techies and entrepreneurs passionate about the sharing economy, the bootstrapped startup is currently operating in Nairobi but expanding to other parts of the country.

“In the next 18 months, we are hoping for full coverage of kenya. The long-term plan is to expand into the East African market,” Osman said.

Sumuni, which charges a commission on every successful processed quote for a client, allows customers to request items they are looking to hire through its website, or via phone and social media. It processes and sends quotes, and facilitates payment and delivery. Clients are able to review services on the site.

Osman said the hiring sector in Kenya is “broken” in terms of timing, trust and efficiency.

“We started Sumuni to bridge the market gap between individuals and business who own equipment and customers who would like to hire the equipment,” he said.

“Before, you would have make a few phone calls as well as search online to look for equipment . We built the platform to solve that problem. Place the request and we connect the customer to one of our partners at an affordable rate.”

He said the startup is building up the levels of trust between customers and hire companies. Currently processing between five and 10 requests per day, Sumuni is aiming to increase that to 50 per day in the next six months.

“Our eventual aim is to process 1,000 requests per day across Kenya, partner with a delivery and insurance company to ease the operations, and increase efficiency and trust of the process,” Osman said.

To facilitate this, the startup is looking for US500,000 equity investment to boost its expansion efforts as well as grow its tech, sales and marketing teams.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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