Fuzu raises Kshs 186 million to support expansion in Africa and Asia

Job search portal Fuzu has raised Kshs 186 million (1.75 million EUR) of funding from Finnfund, Barona and Polkuni to support business development and expansion in Africa and Asia. The company, currently operating in Kenya, will now start rapid expansion to other African countries as well as to Asia.

Fuzu has developed an intelligent career development, learning and recruitment platform for emerging markets. The name Fuzu is derived from the Swahili language which means ‘to progress or to qualify’. Fuzu’s vision is to provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by millions of job seekers and employers across the emerging markets. For employers, the platform offers advanced headhunting search and recruitment solutions with competence evaluation and algorithm based ranking to identify the best fitting candidates for their roles while on the other hand, it provides career counselling, learning solutions, information about open positions and industry updates to job seekers, hence providing support and guidance at different stages of user’s career.

Currently, the startup has more than 180,000 users in Kenya and over a hundred companies are using the platform to acquire talent. The potential growth is significant as there will be more than 120 million people entering the job market between 2010 and 2020 alone, making Africa the largest job market globally by 2040.

“Youth unemployment is one of the most significant challenges of our time and unless solved, will lead to social instability with serious global repercussions. A bigger percentage of our users have never received any form of career guidance or acquired any professional education. Our vision is to provide hope to millions of users with a digital service that continuously encourages them to fulfil their potential and prepares them for alternative career paths; from formal employment to entrepreneurship and self-employment,” said Jussi Hinkkanen, CEO of Fuzu.

Finnfund’s contribution in the first phase will be 500,000 EUR with the possibility of increasing it to 1.5 million EUR while Barona will invest 150,000 EUR and Polkuni 100,000 EUR during this round.

“If there is significant friction between supply and demand in the job markets, large amount of jobs fail to materialize and people are left unemployed. Fuzu eases this friction in places where poorly functioning job markets are a hindrance to development. For example in Kenya, youth unemployment is a significant challenge. Fuzu provides job seekers with a possibility to demonstrate their skills and competencies and to find work that suits them,” said Finnfund CEO, Jaakko Kangasniemi.

“Fuzu’s unique, brave and well-thought-out business model convinced us and we believe that Fuzu will be a great success story,” stated CEO of Barona Technologies Tuomas Mikkonen. “Barona’s extensive experience in job markets and development of work related technology solutions will add significant value to Fuzu.”

“Fuzu is doing an important work for improving the efficiency of job markets in Africa. The youth need to have equal opportunities for educating themselves and for realizing their professional dreams and aspirations. The radical transformation of the job markets, having in mind that technology solutions are taking giant leaps, will surprise us all over the coming years. Agile and mobile-first players like Fuzu will be at the forefront of solving global challenges,” said Pasi Joronen from Polkuni Oy.

Fuzu was founded in 2013 in Finland by an experienced team of Africa and emerging market specialists. The team comprises of renowned Finnish education and innovation experts with deep understanding of the end-user, their needs and aspirations.


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