Rising Warwickshire tech star wanting £ 1million for growth plan
A TECH start-up that helps artisans get paid for their work has been named a “rising star”.
Kanda is one of five Midlands companies to receive the TechNation Award, which recognizes the UK’s brightest and best early-stage technology companies with the highest potential.
Electrician Richard Fleeman, 26, came up with the idea for the company, which is headquartered in Henley, after one of his clients failed to pay him for work worth £ 20,000.
Together with his cousin Rob Gallagher, 29, who at the time was studying astrophysics at Cambridge University, he started working on a digital solution.
They quickly brought in their school friend Phil Daneshyar, 26, who had experience building businesses, one of which he featured on BBC TV’s Dragons Den in 2017.
The three won a £ 150,000 investment in a startup competition in December 2019.
After electricians, heating engineers and plumbers register, Kanda sends quotes and invoices and reviews customers on their behalf.
Kanda emails an online request form to the artisan customer who fills it out, including accepting the deposit amount to be paid. When they submit the form, they receive a decision as to whether they are approved as a client within 50 seconds.
Kanda, which has ties to finance companies, performs credit checks on potential customers so traders know it’s safe to go ahead and get the job done.
Once the job is completed, the customer electronically signs the job and the fee is paid to the artisan within 72 hours.
So far, 7,000 contractors have signed up for Kanda’s service.
Kanda, which is a pun on the word “candor” also allows homeowners to pay monthly for improvements to their home, if they choose.
In January, Kanda was selected to be part of the internationally renowned Y Combinator program in California, which supports startups with funding, one-on-one mentoring and networking.
Previous tech companies he’s worked with include Airbnb, Dropbox, and Gusto.
Kanda chief executive Phil Daneshyar said the company is now seeking £ 1million to help grow its entrepreneur base. In the longer term, it plans to expand into France and Germany.
He said: “It’s great to be recognized by TechNation, especially with this focus on regions, because it proves that you don’t have to be in London to be a tech startup. financial. “
He added: “As a result of Covid we have had more artisans who contacted us because they saw the need to create a website for the first time and in many cases Kanda is the first software. that they used. “
Research from TechNation, which is partly funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, shows that the tech sector in the Midlands is growing rapidly.
The region is home to seven “unicorns,” the term for tech companies valued at over $ 1 billion, up from three in 2020.
Some £ 583million in venture capital investment has been pumped into the region this year and the number of tech jobs created has nearly doubled from 87,277 to 201,673.