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SA Insights

Santam buys tech startup

The century-old financial services company has acquired a ten-year-old online home services marketplace company.

Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, may be more than a century old, but it showed that it is still nimble, with the acquisition of Kandua, a leading online marketplace company for home services, launched in 2014. Santam was founded in 1918.

Kandua will merge with Santam’s existing home service offering, Home+, forming an independent subsidiary of the insurer.

The website offers an online marketplace for home services that enable consumers to connect with, compare and hire professionals across hundreds of service types, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and more. Service providers can use the ‘Kandua for Pros’ app to find new customers and easily manage their core business processes.

“Kandua’s talent, technology and customer base are valuable assets for our business, as it opens up new avenues for client growth and digital innovation. The business has an established technology and extensive network of customers,” says Gloria Tapon-Njamo, CEO of Santam Partnership Solutions, a Santam Group subsidiary focused on building partnerships across industries to develop innovative products, diversify revenue, and expand into untapped market segments.

“This is a strategic acquisition aimed at accelerating our digital innovation and expansion into new market segments. This acquisition expands the impact that Santam can have on informal artisans and small businesses, through access to training, enabling business growth, job creation, financial inclusion and introducing products tailored for their needs.”

Kandua for Business, a division of the company that specifically caters to retailers and insurance companies, uses technology to make service integration into the value chain transparent and efficient. A number of large retailers and financial services currently utilise the service. Retailers can offer their customers professional installation services together with their purchases of home goods. The insurance solution enables the same efficiency and transparency for insurance claims fulfilment.

Kandua was founded by entrepreneurs Sayo Folawiyo and Arjun Khoosal to help small businesses grow, through connecting professional services firms with consumers. On a monthly average, Kandua connects over 40,000 vetted home service companies to about R50-million worth of work opportunities from individual and business customers.  

Folawiyo, who will continue to serve as CEO of Kandua, says: “Our vision is to make home service fulfilment seamless and equitable for service providers and the customers they serve, driven by trust and simplicity. We do this by using technology to make marketing and business operations easier for service providers: shortening the distance between having a skill and making a living from it. Being part of Santam accelerates this work.”

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