Enda, Kenya’s first high-performance shoemaker, announced its seed funding on Monday. The start-up secured an undisclosed amount from Umoja Rubber Products and Mizizi Capital to accelerate its international growth. A statement from Enda reveals that it will use the investment to fund production, distribution, and marketing.
“After years working with Kenyan athletes to design game-changing running shoes, we now give more runners around the world a chance to run in them.” Said Enda CEO Navalayo Osembo. “We know our shoes are excellent. We know they’re the most socially conscious running shoes available. Now we have the capital to get out and let the world know it.”
Enda’s new seed funding will help the shoemaker grow its product portfolio and expand its market. Currently, Enda has two shoe models; the Iten and the Lapatet, both recipients of stellar reviews. First, Enda launched Iten in 2017, selling the shoe in over 40 countries. Later, it conducted a crowdfunding campaign in 2019 to debut Lapatet in 2020.
Made in Kenya
The seed fund’s investors are optimistic, looking to partake in the production of ‘made in Kenya’ shoes.
First, Mizizi capital expressed their excitement to partner with the Kenyan shoe start-up to build a Kenya based athleisure brand.
“We are excited to partner with Enda to continue building world-class footwear and athleisure brand based in Kenya. Besides, this transaction supports our core strategy of backing promising and ambitious early-stage enterprises with capital, operational support, and strategic alliances.” Martin Kiragu, the Managing Partner at Mizizi, told Kenyan Wall Street.
Additionally, investors at Umoja expressed their commitment towards Enda because of both companies’ commitment towards African made footwear.
“We are excited to make this investment in what we believe to be the most innovative and ambitious Kenyan start-up.” Said Umoja’s Chief Business Officer, Jinal Shah. “Moreover, working together, we’ve already been pushing the boundaries of African-made footwear at our factory near Mombasa. We look forward to showing the world that ‘Made in Kenya’ means exceptional creativity and quality,”
Finally, Navalayo explained the strategic importance of investment from Mizizi and Umoja, citing the relevance of seed funds from Kenya. According to Navalayo, it was important for the company to partner with like-minded, impact conscious investors for its first investment.
“As a company focused on social impact, we wanted this seed round of investment to be Kenyan led,” said Osembo. “It took extra effort, but we think it’s worth it to make sure our investors align with the long term vision of not just making great shoes but driving development in Kenya.” Osembo finished.