How Privilege Allowed A White Tech Founder To Raise $1M To Solve A Problem Kenyans Say Doesn’t Exist
Photo Credit: Kenyan Food Photographers

How Privilege Allowed A White Tech Founder To Raise $1M To Solve A Problem Kenyans Say Doesn’t Exist

Kune, a Kenyan startup, has landed itself in some hot water.

“After three days of coming into Kenya, I asked where I can get great food at a cheap price, and everybody tell me (sic) it’s impossible,” Robin Reecht told TechCrunch.“It’s impossible because either you go to the street and you eat street food, which is really cheap but with not-so-good quality, or you order on Uber Eats, Glovo or Jumia, where you get quality but you have to pay at least $10.”

This, he said, prompted him to found Kune, a ready-to-eat meals service similar to Dinnerly. Though the company was only founded six months ago, it managed to land $1 million in pre-seed funding.

This interesting confluence of events led to Kenyans taking to Twitter to air their issues out with the whole ordeal.  For one, Kenyans believe the founder is attempting to solve an issue that simply does not exist. It also didn’t help that Reecht got funding in such a short period of time when it’s been proven again and again that Black founders, in particular, have difficulty getting formidable funding in the same circumstances.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Reecht subsequently provided a statement to Quartz apologizing for his messy comments.

“I completely understand where the backlash is coming from,” he said. “When I look at African startups that get huge amounts of funding, I see more white founders than Black founders. I don’t want my comments to jeopardize the work of the rest of the team. Our Kenyan team worked very hard for us to secure this funding and one of our largest investors is Nigerian. We will use funding to build an entire factory, hire 30 people in production, 100 delivery drivers, 10-15 marketers, 10-15 user experience people, among others.”

No doubt that Kenyans will hold him to his promise that he will, indeed, be hiring locally.