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Kenyan Manufacturing Startup Becomes a Hotcake in the US

Peter Musila 4 days ago
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Manufacturing tech leader Guidewheel, which began life as Safi in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, expands to the United States. This came after the startup raised US$8 million in Series A funding.

Guidewheel helps factories digitize their operations to reach extensive coverage and perform better. Factories can reduce production costs and improve performance by having real-time visibility from the startup’s plug-and-play platform clips.

According to the startup’s Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder, Lauren Dunford, the idea behind the startup was to provide a “leapfrog” solution for emerging markets. Its first version was built with factories in Nairobi.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made that combo of “low lift, high return” increasingly important worldwide,” Since its launch in North America in June 2020, the startup has so far reached over 100 factories and is seeking to improve sales in the US.

“FactoryOps is a new category of technology we’ve introduced that uses the power of the cloud to bring any machine on the factory floor online and provide real-time visibility into problems and performance on an ongoing basis,” Dunford said.

“Historically, only the biggest factories have had great systems to operate at peak efficiency, but those systems are inaccessible to 99 per cent of factories. We’ve built a platform that democratizes those real-time tools, making them plug-and-play to be accessible to anyone. And because of the cloud, every new factory that joins helps make the platform smarter and better for everyone.”

Since its launch in 2018, the startup has seen strong upward momentum in demand.

“There’s a tonne of demand – especially now – for low lift, high return solutions like Guidewheel that empower teams to get more out of their existing machines and then accelerate their impact over time,” said Dunford.

According to the startup’s CEO, Guidewheel will expand to other countries around the globe in the near future.

“Our goal is to empower all the world’s 10 million factories to reach sustainable peak performance,” said Dunford.

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