SA tech startup partners with French Development Agency

South African tech startup, Kandua has partnered with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD ), the French public development finance body.

The partnership will assist in Kandua’s effort to promote and enable work opportunities for artisans in the country.

Further, it will enable the overall growth of the tech startup and the formalisation for local artisans.

Carl Bernadac, AFD’s Regional Deputy Director, expresses that the French Development Agency believes that Kandua is making a concerted effort to close the gap in unemployment for artisans across the country.

“Kandua’s model demonstrates how accessible technology can help to create employment opportunities and reduce social inequalities. Creating a way for informal workers to enter the formal economy and strengthening and enabling SMEs has a positive effect on job creation and economic growth. Technology can further scale up these efforts. We are proud to support this initiative and enable Kandua’s impact, at a time where it is more needed than ever.”


Established in 2014, Kandua’s business model is based on its online market place which focuses on providing home services.

Their online platform has vetted over 10 000 SMEs and independent individuals in more than 100 service categories such as plumbing, building, and other home maintenance and repair services.

Kandua supports the formalisation of artisans, as well as SME growth, by enabling market access and providing operational support through easy-to-use technology.

The startup reports that it has facilitated over R200-million in work opportunities to date.

Arjun Khoosal, Kandua’s co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer provides insights into the aims of the tech startup and its service offering.

“We founded Kandua with the mission to shorten the distance between having a skill and making a decent living from it, and this partnership helps to further that mission. Through our online platform and by doing background checks and verifying references and reviews of the artisans and SMEs, we make it easier for customers to find trusted providers for all their home needs, and for artisans and home service SMEs to join the formal economy and grow their businesses.”

New online systems

The partnership with AFD will enable the tech startup to transform and modify its offering. The first of its new developments are reported to be the introduction of Kandua Fixed Price.

The feature of the fixed pricing aims to create transparency in an industry that is notoriously opaque when it comes to pricing and customer cost. Kandua Fixed Price is a function that matches customers with a qualified service provider for 100 standard types of jobs, at a predetermined price.

The payment system used on Kandua is facilitated via a secure online system and funds are held in escrow until the customer is satisfied with the completed work. Kandua’s Fixed Price payment system lowers the risks for customers and provides a fair and guaranteed price. This offering further enables businesses to partner with Kandua to use independent service providers for their repair and maintenance needs.

In practice

Kandua Fixed Price has been piloted through Kandua’s partnership with Leroy Merlin, the French hardware and DIY retailer that recently entered the South African market. Leroy Merlin shoppers can pay in-store for installation services, rendered by a certified Kandua contractor at a pre-negotiated price.

Digital commerce platforms and the rise in smartphone penetration help to unlock latent demand and scale access to opportunities, as described in a report by South Africa in the Digital Age ( SADA ).

Joe Rantho, a flooring service provider attests to this: “Kandua has helped me get new customers, and these people have also referred me to their friends, which is keeping me very busy. I’ve now become involved in big corporate customers Kandua is affiliated to. I would not get to these customers without Kandua. I go out of my way to keep my clients happy, and this is why they keep coming back, but before Kandua, meeting new clients was very difficult.”

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Featured image: Arjun Khoosal Kandua Co Founder and CTO (Supplied) 



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