BY TOM JACKSON
Rwandan startup Kasha, an e-commerce platform improving women’s access to genuine health, hygiene and self-care products, has increased the size of its Series A round to US$3 million after securing US$1 million from Swedish development finance institution Swedfund.
Launched in July 2016, Kasha sells menstrual care products, contraceptives, pharmaceuticals and a range of beauty products, and delivers to customers confidentially.
The startup allows customers to place orders for products via its website, a mobile app, SMS shortcode or phone call. It does not require a smartphone or internet connection, and is focused on female empowerment and self-care.
Kasha, which expanded to Kenya last year, has been raising a Series A round this year, and had already taken on funding from Finnfund and the United States International Development Finance Corporation, and it has now added another development finance institution to its roster of investors after finalising a US$1 million cash injection from Swedfund.
The funding will enable Kasha to accelerate its growth and impact across Kenya and Rwanda, improve its platform, and support its expansion into other African countries.
“Kasha is thrilled to be able to partner with Swedfund, a purpose-driven investor with extensive experience investing in developing markets. We feel strong alignment with Swedfund in scaling Kasha to one day serve millions of women in Africa and beyond, ensuring that all women have the health and personal care products they need to live their best lives,” said Joanna Bichsel, Kasha’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
Maria Håkansson, CEO of Swedfund, said social stigma around sexual and reproductive health in Africa was very common, leading to women not getting access to the right information and safe products to make empowered decisions about their health.
“Our investment aims to strengthen SRHR – the right to decide over one’s own body, sexuality and reproduction is fundamental for the work with human rights, and against discrimination,”she said.
“Kasha is a women-founded and women-led tech company that strives to make it easier for women, especially low-income women, to access genuine products and information for their health and personal care.”