Kune is out of the market

Kune, a Kenyan food-tech startup that delivered ready-to-eat meals at affordable prices closed down yesterday.

In a statement posted by the company’s founder and CEO Robin Reecht, Kune was apparently hit by a stifled economy and inflated food prices. 

“With the current economic downturn and investment markets tightening up, we were unable to raise our next round. Coupled with rising food costs deteriorating our margins, we just couldn’t keep going,” Reecht said.

The announcement comes just 4 months after the startup began its commercial operations at established meal centres around Nairobi. Around that time, Kune leadership also declared its intentions to raise $3.5 million in its second round of funding.

Was there a foreboding tune? 

Many believe Kune should have listened to Kenyans. 

Before launch, Kune faced its fair share of controversy on Twitter after it was revealed that Reecht, who is white and French, was able to easily secure funding for Kune mere months after founding Kune. Kenyans were aggrieved by his comments, and did not hesitate to voice their critiques. They argued that Reecht’s ability to secure funding so quickly was due more to his white privilege than his business plan, which some believed aimed to solve a nonexistent problem. Those discussions gave way to a larger conversation about white privilege and favouritism in tech, as well as Kenya’s neglect of its local founders. 

Zoom out: While its launch might have been met with hesitation, Kune was well-liked by its customers. Kune reportedly sold more than 55,000 meals and acquired more than 6,000 individual customers and 100 corporate customers.