On 9th may 2019, Kasha launched an East African E-commerce platform for women in Kenya. Founded three years ago in Rwanda, the purpose-driven online company seeks to provide women with the access to health and self-care products, while addressing stigma issues associated in purchasing certain products (contraceptives or menstrual products) over the counter.

“Women, directly make or influence 80% of consumer purchases. Yet they remain highly underserved in their access to high quality and genuine products.” Said Joanna Bichsel, Founder and CEO of Kasha.

Kasha bridges this gap by providing a solution-based platform that offers confidential E-commerce services and space where women can raise issues affecting them and make informed purchases.

Juliana Kituma (left) Unilever Ecommerce lead and Joanna Bichsel (right) CEO and Co-founder KASHA going through with KASHA website after the Media briefing

According to a report by McKinsey, Africa’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to hit USD65 billion by 2020. With the beauty and personal care market growing at a compound rate of 8.24%, driven by the rapidly expanding middle class.

Kasha is tapping into this vast opportunity with its diverse product portfolio ranging from; menstrual care products, sexual health contraceptives, HIV self-tests to skincare, bath & body, beauty products, and baby products.

Prioritising on meeting value with quality, Kasha helps buyers make informed purchases, a key difference that sets it apart from other E-commerce platforms.

A sample of products sold on the Kasha E-commerce platform

“More than a market place we are obsessive on quality of the products we sell. We collaborate with vetted local suppliers to ensure that we provide our customers with quality products and help them make informed decisions in regards to products that suit their needs.” Bichsel said.

A report by Harvard Business report indicates that women control about USD20 trillion in annual consumer spending globally. Their total yearly earnings could reach USD 18 trillion in the next five years. In aggregate, women represent a growth double the size of China and India combined, creating a large growth market for the online platform.

“Women are driving the world’s economy. Kasha is a technological solution by women, that prides itself in providing the products and resources that women across all social, economic spectrum need, throughout the phases of their lives.More so, we also empower women enterprises and other emerging markets.” She added.

Kasha displays selfcare products and other beauty products during the launch

“Currently, our category partners who create these unique skin and beauty products are women,” added Ms. Bischel, Kasha CEO and former engineer and Business leader at Microsoft. Some of the local category partners available at the platform include; Marini Naturals, Zerufi Organics, and Mosara.

The firm has also partnered with global brands such as Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Kim-Fay. In terms of deliveries, Kasha has partnered with companies like Sendy, Tez logistics to ensure convenient and secure deliveries to consumers who are in upcountry or living in the rural areas.

Their rates on delivery within Nairobi range from Ksh 300 for purchases delivered within two hours, Ksh 200 for deliveries made within the day to free services for deliveries made on the following day. Payments can be made through mobile money, cash on delivery or bank/credit card payments.

E-commerce is thriving in East Africa, with over 21 million people accessing mobile financial services, hence making it easier for consumers to shop online. Kenya’s E-commerce is now estimated at 6% of all purchases made in 2017. Why you should be buying and selling online.

With about 300 million smartphones, E-commerce has the potential to grow economies and also market local productions. According to Citibank, Kenya’s E-commerce market could be worth more than Sh 400 billion in the long term, and between Sh 70 billion and Sh 120 billion in the short to medium term, presenting a lucrative revenue opportunity for Fintech’s.

Related: Interview with Kasha’s CEO Joanna Bischel during the launch