TechCabal - Inside Klasha’s mission to help 5,000 global retailers sell and ship to Africa
It’s a Tuesday afternoon in the first week of May, the eve of Klasha’s public launch. Jessica Anuna is showing me a demo of a customer adding items to a cart in an online store, filling in billing details and paying through Klasha.
A few seconds later, her phone beeps with an email notification that her demo order has been placed, with a receipt attached for proof.
Anuna exudes the relief and excitement of a founder and CEO who has built an e-commerce payments product from scratch after nearly three years. Klasha is her solution for global merchants looking to serve Africa’s increasingly digitally native consumers.
“With Klasha, merchants would not have to open individual country stores. They can now make their existing global e-commerce stores Africa friendly,” Anuna says.
The business case
Opening individual country stores is a secondary headache. For merchants who want to sell in Africa, the first problem is setting up country-by-country payment connections.
To do this well, these merchants have to be present on the ground and do some dreary work, like managing currency conversions themselves.
Klasha Checkout essentially absorbs all of that responsibility into one payment gateway. Hear Anuna explain how Klasha manages exchange rate fluctuations:
“At the time the customer pays for the item, the exchange rate is locked in. That way, we are able to remit the equivalent value to the merchant. In the merchant’s dashboard, they can opt to pay themselves out at different exchange rates.”
But in addition to payments, Klasha’s e-commerce feature includes a logistics service. This service is built to convince high-growth brands, doing above $20 million in gross merchandise value, that Africa is a destination to take seriously.
Her pitch is that when a merchant sets up a Klasha Checkout option on their website, Africans will more readily purchase items in their local currencies. Ghanaians pay with mobile money. Kenyans pay with M-Pesa. Nigerians can pay with Naira bank cards.