Kune, a Kenya-based startup that started as an on-demand grocery delivery service before morphing into an online restaurant in recent months, has shut down today, affecting 90 employees, some of whom were just hired in the last month became .
The startup was founded in December 2020 and conducted a trial in Kenya in the first months of 2021 before officially launching operations later this year.
In a LinkedIn post, Robin Reecht, the startup’s founder and CEO, announced the closure after failing to raise funds to keep operations running, blaming the “economic downturn and tightening investment markets.”
A year ago, Kune Food raised $1 million in pre-seed funding and also borrowed an undisclosed amount from a bank in Kenya. Earlier this year, the startup announced it would raise $3.5 million from local and international investors to increase its production capacity.
“Since the beginning of the year we have sold more than 55,000 meals, acquired more than 6,000 private customers and 100 corporate customers. But $3 a meal just wasn’t enough to sustain our growth… Combined with rising food costs that were hurting our margins, we just couldn’t keep going,” he wrote.
Below is Reecht’s full statement.
Sad day. Kune Food is closed today.
Since the beginning of the year we have sold more than 55,000 meals, acquired more than 6,000 private customers and 100 corporate customers. But $3 per meal just wasn’t enough to sustain our growth.
Given the current economic downturn and improving asset markets, we were unable to top up our next round. Coupled with rising food costs that were hurting our margins, we just couldn’t go on.
My first thoughts go to my team. You put your heart and soul into building the Kune that so many people loved. I’m very sorry it didn’t work out.
To all my fellow entrepreneurs, please visit Kune’s “Employee Page” on LinkedIn and see if some of our team members could fill your staffing needs. I know these are difficult times for you too. But they are great people who will add tremendous value to your business. You can call me if you need Kune staff references.
My second thought is for our investors. Some of you joined the Kune journey when just me and a chef delivered food on foot to a nearby office. Some others joined later and helped us grow into a foodtech startup with a technology platform, a factory, a kitchen studio, 7 distribution centers, 6000 customers and a team of 90 people. Not only have you invested in Kune, you have given us your time, mind, connections and emotional support. I am very sorry that Kune’s vision did not come true. To betray your trust is something I will never forgive myself.
My third thought goes to suppliers, customers, bankers and partners of all kinds who have supported us on our way. I’m really sorry for the result.
A lot could have been done differently, certainly better. The coming months will allow us to reflect on Kune’s failure, and I hope to report on that when the time comes.
If you know anyone who may be interested in acquiring Kune’s intellectual property or assets, please PM us.
This is an evolving story.