Klasha team (Image: Klasha)
Klasha, a San Francisco based cross-border technology company, today announced that it has raised $2.4 million in seed funding to build technology infrastructure for cross-border commerce in Africa. The investment round was 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.
With this investment, Klasha will expand its technology to help international B2B and B2C businesses such as ASOS, Zara, Amazon or Zoom to receive payments seamlessly online in African currencies from consumers across Africa. Klasha’s core technology allows African consumers to pay international online and offline retailers in African currencies while the retailers receive payouts in their dominant currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR. Klasha is currently available in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and will invest in driving more revenue, growing its current 10,000 customer base, and expanding into new markets with three more African countries set to go live by Q4 this year.
In the past few months, Klasha has continued to power international businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand into Africa. 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 has built plugin integrations for WooCommerce, OpenCart and BigCommerce. Its integration library is rapidly 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.
Africa presents vast opportunities for scaling quickly in commerce. There are more than 400 million internet users in Africa, and the total value of e-commerce is expected to reach $29 billion by 2022. Still, the ability to pay online with African money methods including cards, M-Pesa, bank transfer and mobile money is challenging for consumers on the ground. 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.
- Klasha Checkout: A technology solution that allows international merchants to collect payments from Africa in local currencies. The checkout can be integrated into any e-commerce platform, website or app. Through this checkout, customers in Africa can make payments online using their preferred African payment method (card, bank account, USSD, M-Pesa, Mobile Money) in their local African currency, and the merchant receives the equivalent in their chosen currency. Customers can also enjoy cheap and fast delivery of their goods.
- Klasha Payment Links: 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 Payment Link provides a flexible and easy way for international businesses to collect payments from customers in Africa without needing a website, app, or any coding skills. With just a few clicks, businesses can create a simple custom checkout page directly from their KlashaDash dashboard and share it with their customers via email, WhatsApp or other social media platforms to receive payments.
- Klasha mobile app: A secure app that allows you to make local and international payments online in your local African currencies without any restrictions. With the Klasha mobile app, you can send and receive money from family and friends in Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya who use the app. No monthly charges. You can also create a virtual card, fund it with NGN, KES or GHC, see all your transactions, including the amount paid, merchant details, card information and much more.
- KlashaWire – A fast and easy way for businesses to pay their suppliers overseas in their preferred African currency, whether Naira, Cedis or other currencies. The suppliers, on the other end, receive the money in the dominant currency of their choice. With this feature, small business owners can make large payments to suppliers overseas with ease while lowering the cost of the transaction directly on the Klasha dashboard. When payments are made, the supplier generally receives it in their dominant currency in two business days.
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.’’
Klasha remains committed to simplifying cross-border payments for commerce in Africa and empowering businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand into a market full of energized consumers.
3attar secures seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment and Angel Investors
3attar a health-focused tech and e-commerce platform secures seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment and individual Angel Investors. Established in 2019, 3attar is a B2C online platform that provides value to its customers through: Online healthy food/products ordering, Delivery services, Diet-consultation programs and Live-coaching programs. Additional subscription and e-payment models.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the company was quick to expand its ‘selection from a few hundred products to +3,000. Rendering it the biggest healthy-shopping destination in Egypt. Its unique name/logo combination expanded to grow into its own private label that generates 20% of the entire business revenue model.
Mohamed Ali, founder/CEO of 3attar said “We aim to become the dominant one-stop shop for the whole health community in Egypt. And expand into MENA regions; including chronic diseases and obesity by providing a holistic healthy lifestyle app.”
The company’s vision is to support the health community that is comprised of At-risk individuals who lack the resources, awareness, products necessary to alleviate their conditions and improve their health (customers suffering from Obesity, Diabetes, Allergies, Hypertension and more). Healthy individuals as well as Athletes, Dieters and Fitness professional. Who maintain and lead a healthy food intake and are constantly seeking a platform that holistically offers all their lifestyle needs.
Eng. Tarek Roushdy, investor and board advisory member of 3attar said: “Since the huge growth in the global “health” community is reaching the MENA region rapidly. 3attar made a smart move to be the first and only platform to serve not only the health community in Egypt and MENA. But also those who want to joint this movement. I am glad to be part of this journey helping them to bring such value to that big market ..”
Mariam Kamel, of AUC Angels said: “The specialized e-commerce space has witnessed increased inflow of angel investments and venture capital this past year. 3attar not only satisfies this, but also strives for impact in addressing the growing trends towards healthier living.”
The investment raised will be utilized to expand the customer-base through marketing acquisition and diversification. Further developing the tech-stack to achieve higher order volume and revenues.
EFG Hermes Closes Sixth Issuance for Premium International for Credit Services in an EGP 170 Million Securitization Transaction
EFG Hermes Mostafa Gad (Image: Supplied)
EFG Hermes’ investment banking division, the leading investment banking franchise in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM). Announced today that it has successfully closed the sixth issuance, worth EGP 170 million. As part of Premium International for Credit Services’ (Premium) EGP 2 billion securitization program. This transaction marks the first issuance this year, following two transactions last year, as part of the two-year program.
Premium is the originator, assigning a portfolio to EFG Hermes, the securitization special purpose vehicle (SPV), backed by Premium customer credit portfolios. The EGP 170 million bond, which consists of a single 10-month tranche, received a “Prime 1 Rating” for its last five issuances. The strongest amongst Egyptian bond issuances as quoted by Middle East Ratings and Investor Services (MERIS).
Mostafa Gad, Co-Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes, commented: “Our partnership with Premium is a reflection of the continued growth of the Egyptian debt capital market space. With the sixth transaction in the program highlighting an increasing utilization of the asset class. The success of this issuance is a testament to our team’s commitment to broadening our capacity for value creation. And expanding our offering to bring together a holistic set of services that incite growth for our partners and clients alike.”
The deal follows the Firm’s back-to-back conclusions of a securitized bond offering worth EGP 627.5 million for Pioneers Properties for Urban Development. And EGP 790 million for EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ first issuance, both in December 2021. Both transactions come on the heels of the Firm’s successful advisory on valU’s first securitized bond offering, worth EGP 322.5 million, in September 2021.
EFG Hermes acted as the sole financial advisor, sole transaction manager & book-runner, underwriter, and arranger.
With a current footprint spanning thirteen countries across four continents. EFG Hermes Holding (EGX: HRHO.CA – LSE: EFGD) started in Egypt and has grown over 37 years of success to become a universal bank in Egypt. With a leading investment banking platform with access to emerging and frontier markets. Drawing on our proven track-record and a diverse team of talented employees. EFG Hermes provide a wide spectrum of financial services that include advisory, asset management, securities brokerage, research and private equity to the entire MENA region.
Softline expands in MENA by increasing its investments in the Egyptian market
Softline, the leading company in digital transformation, cloud and cybersecurity services, unveiled a plan to increase its business and investments in Egypt. The company recently held a series of meetings with officials in different sectors and government institutions including the Ministry of Communications and Information, The General Authority for Investments and the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
During these meetings, representatives from the company and government discussed a wide range of issues including Softline’s targeted investments over the next few years, as the company works to consolidate its presence and investments in Egypt. They also discussed the joint frameworks of cooperation to support Egypt’s national plan for digital transformation, which encompasses various companies and sectors.
The meetings also touched on the company’s plan and strategy to hire recent engineering graduates from Egyptian colleges – especially the technology colleges – and also providing ongoing support through training.
The meetings were attended by Roy Harding, President of Softline International; Atul Ahuja, Softline Senior Vice President for Middle East, Africa and Asia; Engineer Ahmed Nabil, Managing Director of Softline Egypt; and Mohamed Khattab, director of government and education sector at Softline Egypt.
Engineer Ahmed Nabil, the managing director of Softline Egypt commented: “It was an honour to meet with officials and decision makers in Egypt, which is making a great leap forward in terms of its digital transformation and IT. Today we are looking forward to expanding our business in the Middle East by increasing our investments in Egypt, which will also serve as a hub for our business in the region.”
Softline provides digital transformation and cybersecurity services in more than 50 countries and around 95 global cities. Roy Harding, Softline International’s President mentioned: “These meetings have given us a very clear sense of how Softline can support the public and private sectors, and we’re excited to be playing a part in realizing Egypt’s vision for overhauling its digital infrastructure over the next decade.”
Atul Ahuja, Softline Senior Vice President for Middle East, Africa and Asia, commented: “At Softline Egypt, we feel we are at the right time and right place. Softline’s global experience in offering solutions and services for emerging economies would be just right for the growth and transformation Egypt as a country is experiencing”.
The company also contributes to building and managing a safe hybrid infrastructure for its clients. It also provides support and maintenance teams for the required infrastructure to support global digital transformation, cloud services and cybersecurity.
Nabil, asserted that the stable economic situation in Egypt and the continued improvement of the investment environment in Egypt “gives us a confident push to increase our investments in Egypt and support Egypt’s national agenda and the long-term strategic plan of the state to achieve the principles and goals of the sustainable development in all sectors according to Egypt 2030 vision”.