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DFC invests $1m in Kasha Global

Staff writer
Feb. 17, 2021, 11:34 a.m.
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Word count: 570

US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a $1m equity investment in Kasha Global, an e-commerce company that provides women’s health and personal care products to customers in Rwanda and Kenya, alongside investments from Finnfund and Swedfund.

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US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a $1m equity investment in Kasha Global, an e-commerce company that provides women’s health and personal care products to customers in Rwanda and Kenya, alongside investments from Finnfund and Swedfund.

This investment was made through DFC’s Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI) initiative, which aims to finance early-stage, high-impact solutions to challenges facing developing countries. 

"High quality and equitable health services and products are fundamental to the wellbeing, and ultimately the economic potential, of women and girls in the developing world,” said Vice President for DFC’s Office of External Affairs Algene Sajery.

“DFC is proud to support Kasha’s innovative business model, which is helping transform the personal care and health system supply chain in East Africa, and provide financing that strengthens economic growth in the region.”

Many women in emerging markets lack access to safe, high-quality, and affordable health and personal care products as well as information surrounding these products.

As products are often out of stock or counterfeit, the purchasing experience can be frustrating and disempowering for many women.

Since 2016, Kasha has helped address women’s lack of access to health and personal care products by delivering a unique, discreet and user-friendly purchasing experience to the customers it serves.

Through its e-commerce platform, Kasha has reconfigured the supply chain, delivery channel, and customer experience in order to meet demand. Kasha’s business-to-customer line of business directly sells products to customers in rural and urban locations across East Africa, especially low income communities.

Kasha empowers over 400 local women to enter hard to reach communities to provide information and assist customers in purchasing products.

The company’s business model is optimized to reach low income communities.

Kasha has delivered over 1 million product units to over 130,000 unique customers, of which 63% are low income customers in Rwanda and Kenya.

Despite Kasha’s rapid growth and loyal customer base, fundraising is extremely challenging for start-ups in emerging markets, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. By investing $1m in equity through the PI2 program, DFC aims to help Kasha fill the financing gap, providing the e-commerce company with the capital required to scale its business.

“Kasha is excited to bring DFC on as an investor and as a long term partner,” said Kasha Global Founder & CEO Joanna Bichsel.

“With the U.S. Government’s significant ongoing investments in the areas of Global Health and with DFC’s focus on supporting businesses proven to drive both commercial returns as well as social impact, we see strong win-win opportunities as Kasha continues to grow and scale across East Africa and beyond. We have been impressed with the level of support DFC is extending into emerging market businesses and into women-led and women-focused businesses.”

DFC’s investment advances its 2X Women’s Initiative, which has committed more than $4bn of investment in projects that empower women in developing countries. The Kasha investment also qualifies for the 2X Challenge, an initiative of the G7 countries to support women’s economic empowerment.

Based on Kasha’s commitment to the 2X Challenge criteria, Kasha, DFC, Finnfund and Swedfund have signed a side letter which highlights Kasha’s 2X accomplishments and sets an example for other companies that seek to improve their businesses using the 2X Challenge criteria.

By focusing on innovative care delivery models and supply chain innovations, DFC’s financing also advances the agency’s Health and Prosperity Initiative, helping respond to COVID-19 and other health-related issues in Rwanda and Kenya.

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