Kenyan prop-tech startup Obodo has launched a pilot product that is a property management tool for real estate agents and individual landlords to help them easily and affordably manage their rental units.
The platform – which is called Kijiji and was founded by James Muriuki, Skitah Wambui and Mark Muita – will also allow Obodo to better understand tenants, their needs, behaviours and expectations, as it prepares for future launches.
“The idea for Obodo came to me last year when I moved out of home for the first time. I had to experience the hell of renting as a young person with a limited budget. Fighting with landlords, getting conned and lied to, enduring days or weeks with unresolved maintenance requests,” Muriuki told Disrupt Africa.
“When I did research I realised that somehow I was among the lucky few because over 60 per cent of people in Nairobi live in slums. This made me take the leap.”
Obodo’s general aim is to take property management in Africa, which is still done mostly manually, online.
“Property managers or landlords do not have or have not adopted the tools they need to manage their rental units more effectively. This leads to a lot of lost time doing administrative work, loss of data, and fraud,” said Muriuki.
“Kijiji can bridge this gap. By collecting, analysing and sharing access to rental data Kijiji can help property managers better understand their business and improve them, give tenants the tools they need to get their concerns taken into account, prevent fraud and increase transparency between the two parties.”
The self-funded startup is about to open a pre-seed investment round, and says it has had positive feedback since the launch of its product. This has been slow to convert for now, but Muriuki believes this is due to the nature of the business. For now, the startup is focused on the five most populated urban regions of Kenya, but does plan on subsequently expanding into East and Southern Africa.