Klasha, a San Francisco, CA-based cross-border technology company, has raised $2.4m in seed funding to build technology infrastructure for cross-border commerce in Africa.
The investment round was led by Greycroft with participation from led by Greycroft with participation from Seedcamp, Berrywood Capital, AVG Basecamp Fund, Practical VC, Plug and Play, First Round VC, Expert Dojo, 2.12 Angels, MiLA Capital, and angels, including Joe Cross, Ex-Marketing Head at Wise (formerly TransferWise), Santosh Ankola, Ex-Head of Product at TechCrunch and Michael Pennington, Co-founder of Gumtree.
The company said it would use the funds to expand its technology to help international B2B and B2C businesses such as ASOS, Zara, Amazon or Zoom to receive payments online in African currencies from consumers across Africa.
It also said its expansion will see it invest in driving more revenue, growing its current 10,000 customer base, and expand into new markets with three more African countries set to go live by Q4 this year.
What Klasha does:
Klasha provides core technology that allows African consumers to pay international online and offline retailers in African currencies.
Led by Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO, and Oloyede Oladimeji, CTO, the company ensures that the retailers receive payouts in their dominant currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR.
The company is currently available in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya but it plans to expand into three more African countries before the year runs out.
The Company’s rapid growth:
Klasha said a great number of customers have embraced its platform and many are still trooping in.
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Consequently, within five short months of launching, Klasha has already processed more than 20,000 transactions across Africa with an average 366% MoM growth rate.
Klasha provide tools to businesses to expand into Africa:
African e-commerce is expected to reach $29 billion in value by 2022. This is especially as the continent promises great opportunities for fast scaling, with a more than 400 million internet users.
However, the ability to pay online with African money methods, among which are cards, M-Pesa, bank transfer and mobile money is challenging for consumers on the ground.
Consequently, Klasha believes that consumers in Africa should have built technology to facilitate the same frictionless access to the goods they want regardless of their geographic location.
Therefore, the fintech company said from the past months, it has empowered international businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand into Africa.
Klasha has built plugin integrations for WooCommerce, OpenCart and BigCommerce. Its integration library is growing to accommodate even more platforms, including Wix, Ecwid, Magneto and Commerce Cloud. And with an official partnership with BigCommerce, the Klasha Checkout will reach thousands of e-commerce stores globally, enabling them to receive payments online from Africa.
The more than 20,000 transactions the company has already processed across Africa within just five short months of launching, shows Klasha has an average 366% MoM growth rate.
How Klasha platform supports cross-boarder transactions:
The company has built a number of tools to allow seamless online transactions between African countries and the rest of the world.
Among the tools are the Klasha Checkout, Klasha Payment Links, Klasha mobile app and the KlashaWire.
Klashawire is a fast and easy way for businesses to pay their suppliers overseas in their preferred African currency, whether Naira, Cedis or other currencies.
Similarly, Klasha Checkout: A technology solution that allows international merchants to collect payments from Africa in local currencies.
Also, while Klasha Payment Links is a no-code option to accept payments for B2B and B2C merchants or independent sellers that do not have an e-commerce storefront, the Klasha mobile app is a secure app that allows you to make local and international payments online in your local African currencies without any restrictions.
Below are insights bout Klasha by the founders and industry players:
29-year-old Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha, ex-Amazon, Net-a-Porter and Shopify, said: “By 2025, half of the world’s population will live in Africa. At Klasha, we’re building the technology to facilitate frictionless cross-border payments and allow international businesses to scale seamlessly into Africa through our API. Equally, we’re giving consumers in Africa the same access to the global e-commerce economy experienced on other continents. It is imperative that African consumers are able to remain globally competitive, which includes having access to the goods they want without payment or delivery restrictions.”
Alison Lange Engel, Partner at Greycroft, said: ”Klasha’s technology allows for seamless cross-border transactions at a time when Africa is rapidly growing and needs both payment and logistics solutions for online commerce. We’re excited to support Klasha and their mission in simplifying borderless payments for commerce in Africa.”
Oloyede Oladimeji, CTO of Klasha, said: “We have built a secure and reliable commerce solution from scratch using modern technologies. As a business, it is important that we not only build but move fast. Every day, we are scaling our solution to solving a unique problem, connecting Africa to global merchants. Africa is a growing economy with huge potential but low card payment penetration, and we are enabling consumers in Africa to access products irrespective of their payment methods. Our multi-currency technology saves merchants the stress of dealing with all the different currencies available in Africa, allowing them to receive payouts in their dominant currency. What is amazing is not what we have built already but what we are going to build.”
Reshma Sohoni, Founding Partner at Seedcamp, said: ‘’As Africa continues to undergo digitisation, there’s an increasing opportunity for online businesses in Europe and US to garner market share quickly by accepting payments online in African currencies due to the nascent stage of commerce on the continent. Klasha is our first investment in Africa which will allow frictionless scalability for merchants into the continent through their cross-border payment technology, enabling billions of underserved consumers to access their services.’’
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