As a VC, we come across hundreds of entrepreneurs every month seeking funding. But it’s a very rare occurrence to come across the ‘perfect’ founding team. Kanda was set up by Phil, Rich and Rob: Phil is a seasoned entrepreneur, Rob has a PhD in Astrophysics and can code in his sleep, and Rich ran an electrical contracting firm so really understands the world of tradespeople. Kanda – a SaaS quoting and financing tool for tradespeople – meant that this unique trio’s grouping of skills and knowledge would put Kanda on a sound footing to succeed.

Finding its place in a large fragmented market

Kanda started life as Tradesmart, an anodyne brand in a big, dynamic& global market. Worth Capital made it a condition of investment (in Dec 2019) that the business rebranded to give more chance of standout by better reflecting the nature of what it did. After a collaborative brand development process, Kanda was born. Since then, changes have been more than skin deep. At its core remains the quoting and invoicing tool for tradespeople, which helps them be more efficient and allows the better presentation of their services and pricing to potential customers. However, what really drives Kanda adoption is the financing tool for customers. With every quote comes a direct link enabling customers to apply for 0% finance to cover the cost of the work. The Kanda proposition and every piece of execution thus far have been to deliver the promise of winning more business for tradespeople. Zero percent credit = higher customer conversion.  Kanda’s users drove the acceleration of the 0% tool. An effortless front-end for both trades and end-customers belies complex execution including becoming FCA authorised, a huge coding effort and finding a finance partner willing to back a newbie in the market.

Now it’s all about growth

Now it’s all about growth

Any successful SaaS business is all about acquiring new, paying users at the right cost and keeping them. Kanda has run 100’s marketing experiments over the last six months, gradually honing the channels, messaging and sign-up process to maximise those SaaS metrics. Paid user growth is running at 30% month on month with encouragingly low churn. Further marketing experiments will continue however it looks like Kanda has found a strong marketing formula for now which will simply be scaled up.

Pulling up the levers

With confidence in the marketing execution, the key is now to increase spend on marketing. This is the rationale for their next funding round in Q1 / Q2 fo 2021. The task has been made easier with the hot-off-the-press news that Kanda has been accepted on to the Y Combinator accelerator in California. YC is seen as a unicorn backer by much of the funding industry. Alongside a $125k investment now, YC will act as an introducer to the US and European VC’s at the end of March 2021. Watch this space…

Phil reflects...

“Winning the Start-Up Series helped us move from idea to product-market fit. As well as investment from The Start-Up Series Fund, the guidance of Paul and the team at Worth Capital has helped Kanda reposition our brand, build a strong strategy for growth and become investor ready for our next critical investment round”

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