30 November 2016

Africa: Kenyan Start-Up Raises 1.75 Million Eur to Support Expansion in Africa and Asia

Finnish-Kenyan start-up, Fuzu Limited has raised 1.75 million EUR of funding to support business development and expansion. Company that operates today in Kenya will start rapid expansion to other African countries as well as to Asia.Investors include Finnfund, Barona and Polkuni.

Fuzu has developed an intelligent career development, learning and recruitment platform for emerging markets. Name Fuzu comes from Swahili and means 'self-made success'. Company's vision is to provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by millions of job seekers and employers across the emerging markets. For employers the platform offers advanced search and recruitment solutions with competence evaluation and algorithm based ranking to identify the best fitting candidates. For job seekers the platform provides career counselling, learning solutions and information about open positions and industry updates, providing support and guidance at different stages of user's career.

Africa will be world's largest job market by 2040

Today, Fuzu has a community of more than 180,000 users in Kenya and hundreds of companies that use the platform for finding talent. The potential forgrowth is significant as there will be more than 120 million people entering the job market between 2010 and 2020 alone, making Africa the largest jobmarket globally by 2040.

"Youth unemployment is one of the most significant challenges of our time and unless solved will lead to social instability with serious global repercussions. Large part of our users have never received any type of career guidance or participated at professional education. Our vision is to provide hope to millions of users with a digital service that continuously encourages them to fulfil their potential and prepares for alternative career paths, from formal employment to entrepreneurship and self-employment," says CEO of Fuzu Limited Jussi Hinkkanen.

Investors bring on-board expertise in emerging markets, job markets and learning

The total funding raised is 1.75 million EUR. Finnfund's contribution in the first phase will be 500,000 EUR with possibility for extending it to 1.5 million EUR. Barona will invest 150.000 EUR and Polkuni 100.000 EUR during this round.

"If there is significant friction between supply and demand in the job markets, large amount of jobs fail to materialize and people are left unemployed. Fuzu eases this friction in places where poorly functioning job markets are a hindrance to development. For example in Kenya youth unemployment is a significant challenge. Fuzu provides job seekers with a possibility to demonstrate their skills and competencies and to find work that suits them," says Finnfund CEO Jaakko Kangasniemi.

"Fuzu's unique, brave and well-thought-out business model convinced us and we believe that Fuzu will be a great success story," stated CEO of Barona Technologies. Tuomas Mikkonen.

"Fuzu and Jussi are doing important work for improving the efficiency of job markets in Africa. Youth need to have equal opportunities for educating themselves and for realizing their professional dreams and aspirations. The radical transformation of the job markets, while technology solutions are taking giant leaps, will surprise us all over the coming years. Agile and mobile-first players like Fuzu will be at the forefront of solving global challenges," says Pasi Joronen from Polkuni Oy.

"We are truly excited about the confidence and courage demonstrated by Finnfund, Barona and Polkuni in investing in transformation of the job markets, thusimproving the opportunities of millions of people in finding their place in the world," closes Jussi Hinkkanen.


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