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Rwandan healthtech Kasha closes $21m funding

By , ITWeb
South Africa , Rwanda , 24 Jul 2023
Joanna Bichsel, founder and CEO of Kasha Global.
Joanna Bichsel, founder and CEO of Kasha Global.

Rwandan-born women's health start-up Kasha has closed over $21 million in Series B funding, led by South African-based venture capital firm, Knife Capital.

FinnFund, DFC, Altree Capital, Tim Koogle and Pam Scott, Beyond Capital Ventures, Bamboo Capital’s BLOC Smart Africa Fund, Five35 Ventures and other new and existing investors participated in the round.

With Series B funding, Kasha is scaling operations into South and West Africa as it bids to be a leading digital health access platform.

Kasha is a digital retail and last-mile distribution platform for pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods, serving consumers, resellers, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics with affordable products.

Announcing the funding, Knife Capital said that the start-up also serves enterprises as a channel partner by supporting sales and last mile distribution network, data analytics and health tech services to “enable 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.”

It added: “From Kasha’s start in Rwanda in 2016, the company has optimised for women as their target customer segment, with the understanding that women are the most influential segment for health products and household goods and yet still very much underserved. In Africa, women are the decision makers on 80% of household purchases and 60% of small shop owners are women. Today, female customers represent Kasha’s largest customer base.”

Further, Knife Capital said, rapidly growing within Kenya and Rwanda, Kasha commenced operations in South Africa and will expand to West Africa in 2023.

It added: “Kasha is also using the Series B funding to further invest in their digital platform and offering for enterprise services to become Africa’s leading platform for last mile access to health.”

Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital's founding partner, commented: “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.”

Joanna Bichsel, founder and CEO of Kasha Global, said: “With Knife Capital leading our Series B, bringing their strong track record of portfolio companies that have scaled across the continent with successful exits to industry-leading global corporations, provides us with the proven experience we need to achieve our ambitions as a company and to take it to the next level.

“We will be using the funds from Series B to expand across Africa and investing in strategic areas of the business to continue our high growth trajectory. We are especially excited to have the continued support and reinvestment from existing Kasha investors such as FinnFund, DFC, Beyond Capital Ventures and others.” 

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