Rwandan startup Kasha, which allows women across rural and urban locations to make confidential personal care orders, has secured funding from Mastercard to scale its impact.
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 in 2019, raised a US$3 million Series A round last year, and has now added to that round with an undisclosed amount of investment from Mastercard. The direct equity investment into Kasha is the next step on a journey the two organisations have been on since Kasha joined the Mastercard StartPath programme in 2019. Since then, Mastercard has worked with Kasha to integrate digital payment acceptance across its e-commerce platform.
The investment will help Kasha expand its current platform offering, reaching more women, communities and small businesses than before.
“Kasha’s goal is to ensure women in emerging markets get the products, information and services they need for their health, self-care and well-being,” said Joanna Bichsel, Kasha’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
“I am thrilled that we are continuing our collaboration with Mastercard and that we not only have a committed investor with shared values, but also an innovative partner as we continue to take Kasha’s development and growth to the next level.”
Raghav Prasad, division president for Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard, said Mastercard was committed to applying its resources to drive sustainable and inclusive growth.
“Through our activities with Kasha we are leveraging Mastercard’s innovations, expertise and partnerships to help drive the empowerment of women and small businesses. This partnership is a major step in our journey to support the fundamental needs of women and drive growth across African communities,” he said.