Kasha to fuel SA operations after $21m funding

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 24 Jul 2023
Kasha plans to continue its growth journey in SA.
Kasha plans to continue its growth journey in SA.

Kasha, an East African digital platform for last mile access to health products, has secured Series B financing of over $21 million (R378 million) to support its expansion into South Africa.

According to a statement, after rapidly growing within Kenya and Rwanda, the female-founded firm recently established operations in SA, and it will invest in expanding its local operations.

The funding is led by SA-based venture capital firm Knife Capital, with participation from other funders, including FinnFund, DFC, Altree Capital, former Yahoo CEO Timothy Koogle, Beyond Capital Ventures, Bamboo Capital’s BLOC Smart Africa Fund and Five35 Ventures, among others.

Founded in Rwanda in 2016, Kasha is a digital retail platform that sells and delivers pharmaceutical products, household goods and consumer health products to low-income consumers.

Primarily focused on women as its target market, the digital platform also serves enterprises as a channel partner by leveraging their sales and last mile distribution network, data analytics and health-tech services. This enables pharmaceutical manufacturers and global health organisations to increase access to quality health products through marketing, consumer insights and end-to-end distribution visibility to the last mile.

The start-up says it is also using the Series B funding to further invest in its digital platform and strategic areas of the business offering for enterprise services. It plans to expand to West Africa later in 2023.

“Having reached this major milestone of closing our Series B funding, we are even more inspired and determined to achieve Kasha’s mission of being Africa’s leading digital platform for last mile access to health,” says Joanna Bichsel, founder and CEO of Kasha Global.

“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, and this has proven our business model and our team’s ability to execute.”

The company says it is charting a path forward to ensure continuation of its growth journey through the local expansion, executing on its enterprise services contracts with blue-chip clients and inking deals with a strong pipeline of pharma manufacturers, FMCG suppliers and global health organisations.

The company claims it has raised more venture capital funding than any other start-up in Rwanda and will use it to rapidly scale across Africa.

“We are excited about leading Kasha’s Series B round, bringing along value-adding investors,” 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, being especially strong at serving women customers.

“We look forward to being a partner in the Pan-African expansion journey with this purpose-driven, dedicated team.”