Based in Lagos and San Francisco Klasha received an additional $ 2.1 million to complete its $ 4.5 million starting round. The startup, which provides many products for cross-border trade in Africa, raised this new funding from a group of international investors co-led by American Express (AMEX) Ventures, the strategic investment group of American Express.
This investment is AMEX Ventures’ first investment in an African startup. The company runs the circle with Global Ventures, a MENA-focused venture capital that has supported such as Tabby, Helium Health and Paymob. “I think the fact that AMEX is now investing on the continent, especially after investing in companies like Stripe, is really powerful,” said Klasha CEO. Jessica Anunna to TechCrunch, adding that the arrival of Global Ventures is also remarkable for the company.
Investors from its first initial tranche, such as Greycroft, Seedcamp, Plug and Play, Berrywood Capital and Breega, have doubled.
Founded three years ago and launched in 2021, Klasha is entering Africa’s cross-border space in a huge e-commerce market worth over $ 25 billion. The startup solves the payment problems faced by African merchants and consumers when paying for products online through a variety of payment methods.
Klasha has a set of products aimed at businesses and consumers connected through an API. KlashaCheckout allows traders outside Africa to collect payments from six countries on the continent – Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya – and receive payments in G20 currencies such as dollars, pounds or euros. KlashaWire allows small retailers in these six countries to pay their suppliers in their local currency. According to the company, these providers receive payments in their dominant currency for three days. With payment links, merchants who do not have showcases to accept payments can share links with customers via email or social media.
Anuna said the company is growing by 20% a month in merchant acquisitions and 17.5% in transaction volume. Klasha has processed more than 210,000 transactions – 10 times more than last October – from more than 1,700 merchants. Klasha generates revenue through sales commissions and subscriptions that merchants pay to use the analysis platform.
Last year, Klasha’s consumer product allowed consumers in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya to create virtual cards, finance with their respective currencies and send and receive money. In an interview, Anunna said the company would redesign the app to help retailers such as ASOS, Zara and H&M accept payments from African consumers.
“The biggest product development is this app, which allows these users to shop from select stores like Boohoo.com, pay with their Klasha wallet, which you can finance from many different African currencies and be delivered to their door.” said Anunna.
“Klasha’s main mission is to streamline cross-border trade from Africa to the rest of the world. And in turn, give the rest of the world access to African consumers on the ground who want and need these goods worldwide.
The app, called KlashaCart – which is only available in Nigeria – will allow consumers to shop from a variety of retailers using naira and receive their items within 7-14 days through Klasha’s logistics unit. The platform will be operational in Kenya over the next few months, Anunna said. Meanwhile, its customer base grew to about 45,000 customers, up four times from last October.
Despite Klasha’s impressive growth, there is more room for growth for the company, said Sasha Haider, a partner at Global Ventures. According to her, Klasha emphasizes the “significant opportunity” to provide a better experience for the more than 500 million digital shoppers expected on the continent by 2025 in the e-commerce market, which accounts for up to 5% of Africa’s retail space.
“We look forward to seeing the company’s innovative solutions help open trade to African consumers and facilitate cross-border payments,” Matt Sueoka, global head of Amex Ventures, said in a statement. “Klasha has the potential to stimulate costs by making payments easier in emerging markets and allowing retailers to scale across the continent and abroad.”