Eden Life Looks to ‘10x the Quality of Life’

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In October we ran a long post exclusively for our paid subscribers that focused on SweepSouth’s expansion plans in Africa. And we used it as a jumping-off point to discuss the state of the on-demand home services market in Africa.

One of the points we made, still true in our view, is that this sector hasn’t caught fire with investors to the degree that others have. In the wake of that report, we learned that Lagos-based Eden Life raised a US$1.4 million seed round to scale up its solution that aims to help Nigerian consumers “live an easy life”.

Eden does this by providing on-demand laundry service, home-delivered meals, and home cleaning services, via a subscription model.

The seed round is the first publicly disclosed round for the company, which was founded in 2019 by Nadayar Enegesi, Prosper Otemuyiwa, and Silm Momoh.

Leading the seed round was London-based LocalGlobe. This early-stage investor isn’t new to Africa. LocalGlobe also lists Kenyan logistics-tech startups LORI and Nairobi-based financial-inclusions fintech M-KOPA among its investments.

Also participating were Samurai Incubate, Future Africa, Village Global, Rising Tide Africa, and Enza Capital.

Enegesi, who serves as Eden’s CEO, said this in a blog post about how the company will deploy the funds.

This round of funding helps us go further and faster on our key projects to: 

  • Train our staff – not just the core gardener team – to become customer success champions. 

  • Set up a world-class service facility that will sharpen our operations, and help us work more effectively and secure better service partners. 

  • Build out a more robust engineering team to make your app experience better. 

The road to a 10x quality of life for everyone on the continent is long, but we’ll do all the hard work so that you can live the soft life.

In our recent post examing the continent’s on-demand home services space, we made the following point about why the two-sided marketplace model is so difficult, and why investors may be less willing to invest in this sector than in say, fintech or eCommerce.

Regardless of the revenue model, these platforms will struggle without a good balance of consumers and service providers. Without enough of both, the consumer experience is likely to be poor. This often leads to heavy marketing investments to find both buyers and sellers.

So it’s probably not a coincidence that most of Africa’s first several tech unicorns are fintechs rather than on-demand home services platforms.

When we spoke recently with Ezana Raswork, Founder of Ethiopian home services platform Taskmoby.

Taskmoby was one of the recipients of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in Africa.

Raswork said that employment is the angle that works best in raising money. In particular development money. His platform offers gig-work opportunities for underemployed skilled tradespeople in Ethiopia. This likely played a role in Google’s decision to invest.

“Taskmoby is actually quite a mission-driven business. If you look at talk to anybody on the team, the first thing they'll tell you is we're giving jobs to young people,” Ezana told us.

“So that the mission side of it actually becomes the main driver…And what we have found is that development partners are easier to talk to around this. And I think that the impact investors probably will be there.”

Perhaps Google’s investment combined with EdenLife’s seed round are signals that more investor support for on-demand home services platforms is in the near term offing.

Originally published in the Africa SMME Tech Report.

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