Mastercard has today announced a new investment in Rwandan female-focused eCommerce platform Kasha. The companies say they will continue their shared efforts to ensure women across emerging markets have essential access to health and personal care products along with the information required to support everyday hygiene needs.
Launched three years ago in Rwanda, Kasha is a platform that allows women across rural and urban locations to make confidential personal care orders. The platform was also launched in Kenya in 2019.
By utilizing the full product catalogue available online, or by placing orders using basic mobile handsets, women can search, order and pay for hygiene products that are discretely delivered to them by local micro-entrepreneurs, thus also helping local store owners grow their business.
Mastercard’s investment is the next step on a journey the organizations have been on since Kasha joined Mastercard StartPath in 2019. Since joining the award-winning start-up engagement program, Mastercard has worked with Kasha to integrate digital payment acceptance across its eCommerce platform, and most recently the partners joined forces to deliver virus, hygiene and protection products to families across Kenya in efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“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 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.”
Mastercard’s activities with Kasha directly support the company’s pledge to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions to help them grow their business.
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.