Johannesburg-based online marketplace for home services Kandua has announced that it has raised a significant Pre-Series A funding round from a consortium of investors that include Knife Capital and Allan Gray E-Squared Ventures (AGEV).

Kandua provides a digital platform that connects small service businesses with customers in need of jobs done. Moreover, the platform provides these contractors with financial, operational, and marketing tools to improve their professionalism and access to digital financial services to improve their financial health. Kandua’s mission is to shorten the distance between having a skill and making a living from it.

With this latest funding round the business is building up an enviable capitalisation table with seed funding from credible Angel Investors, the ASISA ESD Initiative, IDF Capital as well as Catalyst Fund, among others. In addition, integrated partnerships with the likes of French home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin provide end customers with access to Kandua’s contractors.

“We have been very deliberate in choosing our investment partners to add value at each stage of our start-up growth journey,” says Sayo Folawiyo, CEO and co-founder of Kandua. “We are delighted to welcome Knife Capital and AGEV as equity investors to the business. We are looking forward to executing the aggressive growth strategy enabled by the funding and will look to bring on even more high value partners and funders into the story.”

“Kandua is an exciting investment to add to the Knife Capital venture capital portfolio. The business has grown significantly over the past eighteen months and has now reached a breakout point of scale to ramp up both B2B and B2C activities,” says Keet van Zyl, investment partner at Knife.

Nicolaas Botha from AGEV adds: “Kandua is bringing skilled, vetted and verified service providers and customers closer together – advancing job creation in the process. It is the kind of business we are proud to support.”