South African Tech Startup Creates More Work Opportunities For Artisans

Kandua, a proudly South African online platform that links homeowners and building maintenance managers to rated and vetted artisans (with a history of job reviews), has just announced a partnership with French homeware improvement retailer Leroy Merlin.

Every customer that visits Leroy Merlin will have the option of using selected Kandua contractors – each of which has been trained on best practice for Leroy Merlin products. Beyond supporting these businesses with jobs, Leroy Merlin is going the extra mile to engage the contractors through this partnership with Kandua, whereby contractors will: host workshops to teach homeowners and individuals how to do small tasks in the home; have access to supplier training when they want to get up to date with new practices; and will be included in a programme with the other partners in the Leroy Merlin store.

Lucas du Toit, co-founder of Kandua, notes that with Leroy Merlin’s commitment to providing a full suite of services for their customers and Kandua’s platform filled with great contractors, it was a match made in heaven. “We adopted a co-creation approach, inclusive of the contractors, to ensure that not only is the customer experience excellent, but that Leroy Merlin’s capacities support these deserving business contractors.

Since having launched Kandua, we have driven over R40million worth of revenue opportunity to hundreds of service providers across SA, and this partnership with Leroy Merlin will enable us to drive even further opportunities to even more tradesmen. We’re very excited about that,” says du Toit.

Kandua, previously trading as ID Work, was founded in 2014 out of a shared vision to use technology to bring professional dignity to skilled professionals and to help highly skilled artisans to professionalise their businesses. The technology has afforded property service providers (or “pros”) the opportunity to access new markets, prove good workmanship, showcase referrals on their online profiles and formalise their businesses via technology (whereby Kandua offers many value adds to pros, such as easy automated business admin).

This has taken the marketing and administration burden away from the pros and allowed them to focus on the technical aspects of their work. Empowered service providers make for happy customers as they provide a more personable, cost-efficient service.

Kandua’s tradesmen include plumbers, builders, electricians, painters, carpenters, pool specialists, security specialists and so on, who do maintenance and renovation work. The platform allows homeowners to read reviews of the tradesmen’s past work, hire them, manage projects and pay them on the website.

Previously, homeowners were unable to find these service providers, often making ill-informed decisions and ending up frustrated because they used the wrong contractor. Kandua has changed that by leveraging the power of technology and the internet, making it easy and more convenient for people to support small local businesses.

Kandua has won various prestigious accolades in the tech innovation space, including being crowned SA’s top start-up at the Seedstars World (a global seed-stage start-up competition for emerging markets and fast-growing start-ups) in 2016, for offering a creative solution to the scourge of unemployment in South Africa. Kandua’s technology is simple to use, with the website possessing a clean look and offering step-by-step prompts for end-users (homeowners) and service providers alike.


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