SA startup Karri helps schools screen students for COVID-19

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South African startup Karri, which helps schools collect payments from parents via a mobile app, has launched a new feature that allows schools to screen students for COVID-19 before they arrive in the premises.

Founded in 2017 in partnership with Nedbank, Karri began with a pilot in four schools across the Western Cape, but is now in use across hundreds of schools across Africa.

The payments platform allows schools collecting funds for various things to message parents, who are able to quickly make payments via the app. It reconciles what payments have been received and sends reminders, and is fully supported by Nedbank.

Founder Doug Hoernle told Disrupt Africa the Karri team had thrown “enormous effort” into enhancing and improving both the Karri dashboard and app over the course of 2020, and had released a free feature which helps schools effectively screen students for COVID-19 before they arrive on the school premises. 

The new attendance feature asks parents to screen their child via the Karri app from the comfort and safety of their home, by simply filling out a questionnaire which is instantly returned to schools via the Karri dashboard. 

“Screening for COVID-19 in schools across South Africa is compulsory and we felt that we had the technology to assist our schools, parents and users and do what we could to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Hoernle said.

Karri has also been working on a partnership with Bidvest Waltons on their Back To School Stationery drive. Going into the new Back To School season, parents will be able to purchase Waltons Stationery Packs securely through the Karri app.

“Gone are the days of cumbersome order forms, walking up-and-down crowded retail store aisles or fumbling with cash or EFT proofs of payment at school handouts. Parents will now be able to buy their stationery packs directly through the Karri App in mere seconds. Schools will also love the solution with the elimination of the administrative burden of handing out catalogues and order forms, collecting orders and handling cash. This facilitates school safety initiatives in a COVID-19 world by limiting physical activity and interaction within school premises; all replaced with a single click of a button,” Hoernle said.

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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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