June 8, 2022
Fast Observer: American Express makes first African startup investment in Klasha — Quartz Africa
Nigerian fintech startup Klasha announced today (June 7) that it has received a $2.1 million investment as part of a seed round that started last year. One of its new investors is American Express Ventures, the investment arm for American Express (Amex), one of the top four credit card networks in the world, for whom this is a first investment in an African startup.
In doing so, Amex joins Visa and Mastercard who have been in Africa’s fintech scene since 2018. That year, Visa participated in Paystack’s $8 million series A round while Mastercard invested in Flutterwave.
Klasha provides a number of services at the intersection of payments and e-commerce. Among them is an app (only available in Nigeria, for now) for individuals to create a virtual dollar card in order to pay for services like a Spotify subscription. Then there’s a checkout feature for retailers outside of Africa that allows their African customers to pay in currencies like the naira and shillings, using bank cards or mobile money.