CLIENT: Kopo Kopo (Khosla Impact Fund)
SECTOR: Mobile Lending
The Client Khosla Impact Fund is an early stage equity fund that focuses on tech startups that help improve the standard of living at the BoP around the World. One of its key investment is Kopo Kopo, a company dedicated to improving access to financial products in resource-poor countries. Kopo Kopo created a world-class platform enabling small and medium business to accept mobile payments, build relationships with customers, and use technology to grow and prosper. In partnership with Safaricom, they brought the M-PESA Buy Goods Service (Lipa Na M-Pesa) to thousands of small and medium businesses throughout Kenya.
The Challenge In August 2015, Kopo Kopo launched their merchant cash advance service “Grow”, designed to provide flexible cash to retail businesses by accommodating their daily, seasonal and cyclical cash flows. This type of service is new in Africa, and Kopo Kopo required a entrepreneurial CEO capable of scaling an on-balance sheet loan book using a technology platform that generates substantial payments data. KCH worked closely with Kopo Kopo’s team of international investors on this key recruit.
The Results KCH conducted a comprehensive search for talent in the region, trying to identify a candidate with the unique mix of skillsets that Kopo Kopo needed. A strong understanding of technology, credit/lending experience, an understanding of data analytics, the ability to lead and motivate a young team, and experience with fundraising and interacting with international donors and board members. Ken brought with him strong financial and technical abilities, fundraising experience, and the passion for moving forward Kopo Kopo’s exciting vision.
“We selected Farah and Kenyans Come Home after screening half a dozen different search firms in Kenya. We were making a critical executive hire for a unique startup that combined elements of banking, technology and telecom. Success depended on us finding the right person. Farah was the first person we talked to who immediately “got it,” and understood what the challenge of the search would be — finding a person who could mesh in 2-3 different industries, and had early stage leadership and fundraising experience. This is still rare in Kenya. We worked with her and her team and were able to find a series of candidates, and ultimately, hired the best candidate on our aggressive timeframe. I’d highly recommend Farah. She knows how to work with entrepreneurial organizations and how to deliver under pressure.”
Mark Straub, Director, Khosla Impact
“It was a pleasure to work with KCH. They have an engaging team, open and flexible whilst being extremely professional. They articulate their assignments and requirements concisely, and make it easy for the employer and candidate to enjoy a world-class experience in the recruitment process. The firm’s style allows for a well-run process, keeping things time bound and ensuring the employer and candidate don’t feel pressured to act or tired by an unending process. They mediate extremely well between employer and candidate expectations and facilitate solutions that work well for both. KCH is definitely one of the best in their industry, and is on top of their game.”
Ken Kinyua, CEO, Kopo Kopo