Kenyan Dowry Negotiation Startup Secures $2.2m in Seed Funding

A Kenyan dowry negotiation startup – Nairobi Dowry – has raised $2.2 million in seed funding to continue its growth in helping young people navigate the treachery waters of dowry negotiation and payment.

Nairobi Dowry is a social startup that helps young men keep their mental health intact during the bride price payment process. Whether you call it dowry, lobola, ikpo onu aku nwayi, mahari, or roora, the startup works through the whole dowry ecosystem to ensure that young men don’t break the bank. The funding will help the startup launch full scale operations in Africa.

“Bride price is a major pain point because it is usually paid by young people to old people. Young people are always broke while the old people are usually rich. This creates a market imbalance which Nairobi Dowry is trying to fix.”

The round was led by a unnamed Nigerian tycoon of little known Kali Fund, that specializes in aiding nascent African startups that show potential for rapid growth, use of technology and ability to solve problems that should not have existed in the first place.

Business Model

The startup charges a commission of 20% of the money they are able to save you if they help you with the dowry planning, negotiation and payment. This means that one incurs no extra cost by using their services. Considering that the dowry industry is worth KShs 375 billion, the amount the startup makes is in tens of billions.

“We are able to give you the dowry estimate for every region in Kenya and several other countries in Africa. This is meant to help you make the right decision on where to find a bride, or prepare in advance if you already have one. We use advanced statistical modelling to predict the actual bride price and find the minimum acceptable amount on behalf of our clients.”

The startup also works with a team of independent consultants who work as dowry negotiators and can show up to help you secure a favorable rate.

The dowry industry in Kenya is worth $3.65 billion and holds even more potential in other countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Even Kenya Revenue Authority had planned to tax dowry although it is yet to start.

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