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Kasha lands $21m for pan-African scale-up


East Africa’s leading digital health access platform, Kasha, has announced a successful Series B fundraising round of $21 million, led by Knife Capital, a pan-African venture capital firm based out of South Africa.

Kasha, a digital retail and last mile distribution platform for pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods, intends to use the funding to expand its operations into South and West Africa, solidifying its position as Africa’s leading digital health access platform. The funds will also be invested into Kasha’s digital platform and enterprise services.

Since Kasha’s inception in Rwanda in 2016, the company has prioritised women as their main customer segment, given women’s significant influence over health product and household goods purchases. In Africa, women make decisions on 80% of household purchases and 60% of small shop owners are women. Consequently, Kasha’s largest customer base is women.

The company, which has grown rapidly within Kenya and Rwanda, recently commenced operations in South Africa and has plans to expand to West Africa later this year.

Kasha’s exponential growth, as evidenced by its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) which has increased by over 50x since the close of their Series A round, is set to continue with country expansion and successful execution of its enterprise services contracts with top-tier clients.

Joanna Bichsel, founder and chief executive of Kasha Global. Photo: Supplied
Joanna Bichsel, founder and chief executive of Kasha Global. Photo: Supplied

Joanna Bichsel, founder and chief executive of Kasha Global said, “The exponential revenue growth we’ve experienced over the last several years was driven by the high market demand for quality, affordable health products and household goods from mass market customers in urban and rural areas of East Africa. We will be using the funds from Series B to expand across Africa and investing in strategic areas of the business to further continue our high growth trajectory.”

As a female founded and led company, Kasha has overcome significant challenges in Africa’s start-up funding landscape, where less than 2% of funding goes towards female founder CEO-led companies. Nonetheless, Kasha was the first tech start-up with ground logistics operations that started in Rwanda and then expanded into other African countries. It has now raised more venture capital funding than any other start-up in Rwanda.

“We are excited about leading Kasha’s Series B round,” says Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital founding partner. “In the current economic climate it is refreshing to come across such a high-growth capital efficient business that is female-led and optimised to serve the large mass market segment in Africa.”

Co-investors FinnFund, Tim Koogle (founding CEO of Yahoo!), and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have all reiterated their support for Kasha’s mission and their excitement about the company’s upcoming growth phase.

With this substantial new round of funding, Kasha is positioned to bring affordable, quality healthcare products to an even wider audience across Africa, reinforcing its commitment to bridging the health access gap.

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