Knife Capital leads $21M Series B funding round as Kasha expands health access platform across Africa

As Africa experiences a significant increase in its young population, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to develop healthcare solutions that meet the medical needs of the continent’s future. While the private healthcare sector in Africa gained attention during the pandemic, women’s health, specifically addressing menstrual and reproductive health, has been overlooked. However, looking at other emerging markets, it is only a matter of time before this category receives the venture capital funding it deserves. The recent $21 million Series B investment in Rwandan startup Kasha is evidence of this.

Kasha, founded in 2016 by CEO Joanna Bichsel, is not your typical women’s health startup. It operates as an e-commerce platform that serves a wide range of customers but has a focus on women’s health and household items. The platform provides a digital retail and last-mile distribution service for pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), allowing customers to order products like sanitary pads, contraceptives, diapers, and cleaning supplies. Its customers include individuals, small resellers, hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics.

Initially targeting the Rwandan market with a direct-to-consumer model, Kasha expanded into wholesale after obtaining the necessary pharmaceutical license to serve pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. The startup covers a range of health needs, including newborn and maternal health, menstrual hygiene, family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and noncommunicable diseases. It aims to provide a variety of products to cater to the stigmatized health needs of women.

In terms of funding, Kasha raised $1.5 million in seed funding and secured a $3.6 million Series A from investors after expanding into Kenya. The recent Series B round was led by Knife Capital and saw participation from other investors. Kasha plans to use the investment to expand its platform in South Africa and West Africa later this year.

Kasha differentiates itself from other B2B e-commerce platforms in East Africa by focusing on health products. It offers telehealth services, connects consumers without prescriptions to doctors, and provides inventory credit to pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals. The startup works directly with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure the authenticity of its products. It also spreads information on health and safety through various content channels and provides insights to global health organizations.

Kasha has experienced significant growth since its Series A round, with annual recurring revenue increasing by 50x. The company aims to continue growing aggressively, become a global company, deliver strong returns to investors, and potentially go public. With its recent funding and the support of investors, Kasha is well-positioned to expand its last-mile access to health offerings across Africa.

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