VFA C19 REMOTE FELLOWSHIP

This 3-month, full-time remote fellowship enables talented individuals from anywhere in the world to dive into work with high-growth startups in Kenya who are busier than ever amid the COVID-19 crisis.


Applications are closed, but you can join the waitlist below to get notified when a new cohort opens up.

TURACO

NAIROBI, KENYA

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Turaco is changing healthcare financing in the developing world. Emerging consumers can’t get the care they want and need because they lack access to affordable insurance products and financing. Micro-insurtech company Turaco creates simplified insurance and credit solutions distributed through mobile technology to uniquely solve the healthcare financing needs of emerging customers.

VFA'S TAKE

Turaco is a micro-insurtech startup providing simple health and life cover for as little as USD $1 a month to low-income earners in Kenya and Uganda. You'll join a fast-paced team, using technology to re-imagine insurance in emerging markets and gain knowledge on business expansion strategies as the company prepares to scale in other parts of the continent.

AVAILABLE ROLES

Software Engineering

Technology

Fellow

Project Description
 

COVID-19 has changed the game for insurance in the developing world. Pre-pandemic, it was difficult to get people to think into the future, and set aside some money for potential risks. Now, people have a much better understanding of the fragility of life, and willingness to buy insurance products to free themselves of the fear of financial shocks. Based on polling of other insurers we expect at least a 6x increase in demand for insurance. 

This has created a need and opportunity for Turaco to market its products direct to consumers in a way we have never done before. Our model has historically relied 100% on partnerships for distribution. We are now experimenting with direct to consumer via web marketing, and a blended model where we white label for partners, but still manage a lot of the marketing and payment work ourselves. 

 

To accelerate this pivot we are looking for engineers with expertise and time that they can lend. Our goal is to insure one billion people. To double the number of insured people on the planet. Freeing them from the fear of financial shocks. We believe that goal has never been more achievable than it is today.

Project Deliverables
 

  • Work with our engineering team to develop USSD onboarding and payment solutions 

  • Work to create a versatile tool for consumer-facing marketing and onboarding tools that can be used in our white labelled partnership distribution model

 

Experience Level 

5+ years

Reports to

CTO

Marketing

Marketing

Fellow

Project Description
 

COVID-19 has changed the game for insurance in the developing world. Pre-pandemic, it was difficult to get people to think into the future, and set aside some money for potential risks. Now, people have a much better understanding of the fragility of life, and willingness to buy insurance products to free themselves of the fear of financial shocks. Based on polling of other insurers we expect at least a 6x increase in demand for insurance. 

This has created a need and opportunity for Turaco to market its products direct to consumers in a way we have never done before. Our model has historically relied 100% on partnerships for distribution. We are now experimenting with direct to consumer via web marketing, and a blended model where we white label for partners, but still manage a lot of the marketing and payment work ourselves. 

 

To accelerate this pivot we are looking for marketers with expertise and time that they can lend. Our goal is to insure one billion people. To double the number of insured people on the planet. Freeing them from the fear of financial shocks. We believe that goal has never been more achievable than it is today.

Project Deliverables
 

  • Develop strategies and content to digitally market insurance to emerging consumers in Kenya and Uganda.

  • Work with leadership to refine overall marketing strategy for the business in this new season of increased demand.

 

Experience Level

3-5 years​
 

Reports to

CMO

SOKOWATCH

NAIROBI, KENYA

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Sokowatch is transforming communities across Africa by revolutionizing access to essential goods and services. By connecting small merchants to the digital economy, we fix inefficient supply chains and provide services previously unavailable to informal businesses. Sokowatch aims to provide everything a retailer needs, no wholesalers or banks necessary.

VFA'S TAKE

Sokowatch is one of the most exciting fintech and logistics startups in Africa. The team recently raised a $14 million Series A and is quickly expanding across East Africa. You'll learn from experienced international staff and gain a deep understanding of how to build a successful logistics supply chain from the ground up.

AVAILABLE ROLES

Strategic Finance

Business Fellow

Project Description
 

Sokowatch is looking for an exceptional strategic thinker who is excited to unlock the potential of the informal economy and inspired by our mission to empower the local merchants responsible for over $600 billion of sales across Africa every year.

You will build out tools to analyze the operating and financial strategy of the company and conduct a quantitative analysis of current operations while evaluating the return on investment of new opportunities. You have extensive experience analyzing business fundamentals and building out financial models to accurately project business performance.

Project Deliverables
 

  • Conduct strategic planning for resource allocation across the company

  • Analyze potential initiatives to maximize return and meet Sokowatch’s overall strategic goals

  • Build a comprehensive operating financial model of Sokowatch’s business while constantly incorporating the latest performance figures to continually refine the accuracy of projections

  • Present to the CEO and other leaders the growth outlook and drivers of the business

  • Identify new strategic initiatives and allocate resources for their development

  • Work alongside the CEO in supporting investor relations
     

Experience Level 

4+ years

Reports to

Global CEO

Product Manager

Product Management Fellow

Project Description

Sokowatch is seeking a data-driven product management fellow with experience managing the success of software & hardware products through experiments, established tools, and working with cross-functional teams to deliver one or more product lines for users that increase efficiency, automation, and customer happiness.

 

Sokowatch’s products and systems currently cover a variety of different functional areas:

  • Warehousing

  • Dispatch & Fleet

  • Growth & Marketing

  • Financial Services

  • Merchants

  • Suppliers

Project Deliverables
 

  • Develop a product vision & roadmap to transform the Sokowatch product set 

  • Manage all product development efforts including interviewing teams, analysing the automation opportunities, presenting recommendations to senior leadership and supporting integration, training and measuring of automation outputs

  • Ensure existing hardware and intellectual properties from current business functions are being assessed and repurposed to drive improvement and accountability, and create business value

  • Co-develop predictable processes, data models, execution plans and support tools for teams

  • Represent the business teams in the product cycle, and lead prioritization of clear use cases and communication of the product strategy

 

Experience Level

2+ years​
 

Reports to

Global Head of Product

Ruby on Rails Developer

Technology Fellow

Project Description

Sokowatch is looking for a Ruby on Rails fellow who will participate in building out features to manage the interchange of data between the server and the users. Their primary focus will be the development of server-side logic, definition and maintenance of the central database, and ensuring high performance and responsiveness to requests from the front-end and mobile apps. They will also be responsible for integrating the front-end elements built by their co-workers into the application. Basic understanding of front-end and mobile technologies is helpful as well.

Project Deliverables

  • Design, build and maintain efficient, reusable, and reliable Ruby code

  • Research, analyze, and develop product features of increasingly complex nature

  • Testing and documenting written code

  • Design and technical decisions for Rails projects.

  • Unit testing in Rest Web Services and Ruby technologies for the Application Development Centre. 

  • Maintaining overall code quality, organization and automatization

  • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to these problems

  • Integration of data storage solutions

Experience Level

4+ years

Reports to

Head of Engineering

OkHi

NAIROBI, KENYA

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

OkHi is building the next generation address system for Kenya and beyond. This system will unlock commerce through enhanced logistics, save lives through improved emergency services and grow access to finance through better personal identification.

VFA'S TAKE

OkHi is a digital addressing network that is using technology to revolutionize logistics and service delivery in Kenya. Here, you'll work with a diverse team, learning creative ways to simplify and streamline app-based user experience as a means to enhance interconnection and include more people in the new digital economy.

AVAILABLE ROLES

Commercial Strategist

Business Fellow

Project Description

OkHi is looking for a smart, ambitious and self-starting MBA candidate to build an exciting commercial plan for OkHi. They are focusing the business on address verification and need to understand how big Africa’s verification market is.
 

Project Deliverables
 

  • Research KYC address verification opportunity across Africa

  • Address verification market sizing

  • Build address verification financial model and commercial plan 

  • Optimise OkHi verification unit economics based on competitor analysis

  • Growth strategy proposal based on most fertile markets with most $ revenue potential

  • Build out a detailed 3+ year financial plan that presents a coherent and robust strategy to turn OkHi into a revenue business.

 

Experience Level 

3+ years

Reports to

Commercial Director

Data Scientist

Technology Fellow

Project Description

OkHi is looking for a smart, ambitious and self-starting candidate to extract insights and strategies out of its data. You will help build data science analytics capability at OkHi.

Project Deliverables
 

  • You will apply Machine Learning algorithms, data science libraries, tools (Tensorflow, pandas, NumPy, Scikit-learn etc) to extract insights from OkHi's data sets.

  • Use OkHi's unique internal data sets to extract actionable data insights that will drive improvements to its automated address and user verification products.

  • Drive improvements in tools, data extraction, data quality, and analytic techniques.

 

Experience Level

2+ years​
 

Reports to

CTO

DREAM ROLE

AFRICA

OVERVIEW

Venture for Africa is accelerating the economic growth and technological innovation in Africa by mobilising the next generation of startup talent and equipping them with the experiences and context they need to meaningfully contribute to elevating businesses and livelihoods in Africa.

Don't see a role that fits your experience? Don't worry - we'll be launching fellowships on a regular basis, so let us know why you want to be a VFA fellow by joining the waitlist below, and we'll let you know when we have a new role that fits your profile

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