Lagos and San Francisco-based Klasha has received an additional $2.1 million to complete its $4.5 million seed round. The startup, which provides multiple products for the cross-border commerce space in Africa, raised this new financing 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 in an African startup. The firm co-led the round with Global Ventures, the MENA-focused VC that has backed the likes of Tabby, Helium Health and Paymob. “I think the fact that AMEX is now investing in the continent, especially after investing in companies like Stripe, is really powerful,” said Klasha CEO Jessica Anuna to TechCrunch, adding that Global Ventures coming on board is also noteworthy for the company.
Investors from its first seed tranche such as Greycroft, Seedcamp, Plug and Play, Berrywood Capital and Breega doubled down.
Founded three years ago and launched in 2021, Klasha is tapping into Africa’s cross-border space in a vast e-commerce market worth over $25 billion. The startup is solving payment issues African merchants and consumers face when they pay for products online via different payment methods.
Klasha has a suite of business- and consumer-facing products connected via one API. KlashaCheckout allows merchants outside Africa to collect payments from six countries on the continent — Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya — and get paid in G20 currencies like dollars, pounds or euros. KlashaWire allows small merchants in these six countries to pay their suppliers in their local currencies. According to the company, these suppliers receive payments in their dominant currency in three days. With Payment Links, merchants who don’t have storefronts to accept payments can share links with customers via email or social media.
Anuna said the company is growing 20% month-on-month in merchant acquisitions and 17.5% in transaction volume. Klasha has processed more than 210,000 transactions –10x its figure from last October — from over 1,700 merchants. Klasha makes revenue via sales commissions and subscriptions merchants pay to use the platform for analytics.