Kune Meals shuts down barely a yr after beginning Kenya operations – •

Kune Meals, a Kenya-based cloud kitchen has closed down as we speak, affecting 90 workers — a few of whom had been employed as not too long ago as final month.

The startup, based in December 2020 to supply ready-to-eat reasonably priced meals, performed a trial in Kenya within the early months of 2021 earlier than formally starting operations later that yr.

In a LinkedIn submit, Robin Reecht, the startup’s founder and CEO, introduced the closure after failing to boost funds to maintain up operations, whereas blaming the “financial downturn and funding markets tightening up.”

A yr in the past, Kune Meals raised $1 million pre-seed funding and in addition borrowed an undisclosed quantity from a financial institution in Kenya. Earlier this yr, the startup stated it was elevating $3.5 million from native and worldwide traders to ramp up their manufacturing capability.

“Because the starting of the yr, we offered greater than 55,000 meals, acquired greater than 6,000 particular person prospects and 100 company prospects. However at $3 per meal, it simply wasn’t sufficient to maintain our progress … Coupled with rising meals prices deteriorating our margins, we simply couldn’t hold going,” he wrote.

Kune’s take-off was shaky, with founder Reecht irking Kenyans with remarks indicating that he launched the startup after failing to get reasonably priced ready-to-eat meals within the nation.

His assertion obtained fast backlash, with many Kenyans taking to on-line areas to showcase the quite a few eating places serving reasonably priced meals across the nation. Kune issued an apology, expressing remorse for the way the assertion got here out.

Afterward, and buoyed by the $1million 2021 funding, the meals tech startup ramped up its operations with the promise of making ready and delivering to on-line shoppers freshly made meals at reasonably priced costs. Initially, the startup dealt with every thing together with supply however over the previous few months it started utilizing third-party apps like Uber Eats, Glovo and Bolt Meals to satisfy their orders.

Till the indefinite closure, Kune hoped to extend manufacturing capability and to increase its operations past Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. It had focused a national footprint by 2024.

The startup stated in a previous assertion that it had invested closely in analysis and growth to make sure it had a “absolutely devoted in-house crew working persistently on menu development in order to satisfy the altering calls for of consumers whereas additionally bridging the vitamin and worth hole.” It had additionally established hubs throughout Nairobi to be nearer to its goal consumer.

Kune’s traders included the pan-African enterprise capital agency Launch Africa Ventures, who led its pre-seed spherical final yr, Century Oak Capital GmbH and Consonance.

Under is Reecht’s full assertion.

Unhappy day. Kune Meals closed down as we speak.

Because the starting of the yr, we offered greater than 55,000 meals, acquired greater than 6,000 particular person prospects and 100 company prospects. However at $3 per meal, it simply wasn’t sufficient to maintain our progress.

With the present financial downturn and funding markets tightening up, we had been unable to boost our subsequent spherical. Coupled with rising meals prices deteriorating our margins, we simply couldn’t hold going.

My first ideas go to my crew. You set your coronary heart and soul into constructing the Kune that so many individuals beloved. I’m deeply sorry it didn’t work out.

To all my fellow entrepreneurs, please examine the Kune “worker web page” on LinkedIn and see in case your recruitment wants may very well be stuffed by a few of our crew members. I do know these are tough instances for you too. However they’re terrific individuals who will deliver super worth to your organization. You possibly can name me in case you want any reference on a Kune worker.

My second thought goes to our traders. A few of you joined the Kune journey when it was simply me and a Chef, delivering meals on foot to a close-by workplace. Some others joined later and helped us develop right into a foodtech startup with a tech platform, a manufacturing unit, a kitchen studio, 7 distribution hubs, 6000 prospects, and a crew of 90 individuals. Not solely did you put money into Kune however you gave us your time, brain-width, connections, and emotional assist. I’m deeply sorry that Kune’s imaginative and prescient didn’t come true. To betray your confidence is one thing for which I’ll by no means forgive myself.

My third thought goes to suppliers, prospects, bankers, and companions of any kind who supported us alongside our approach. I’m sincerely sorry for the end result.

Many issues might have been carried out in another way, higher actually. The approaching months will permit us to mirror on Kune’s failure, and I hope to share about it when the time shall be proper.

If you already know anybody who may very well be to amass Kune’s IP or Property, please attain out by PM.

Sincerely yours,
Robin

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