The United States’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has backed two e-commerce startups in East Africa. DFC invested $5 million in Kenya’s Copia Global an e-commerce startup. $1 million will be invested in Rwanda’s Kasha, an E-commerce product for women’s health & self-care in East Africa that aims to empower women.
Kasha was launched in 2016 and mainly retails pharmaceuticals, contraceptives, and other beauty products to customers confidentially. Orders can be placed via its mobile app, website, phone call, or through an SMS shortcode. Alternatively, Copia Global began back in 2013 and has since created a global network of over 5,000 local agents who provide unique product offerings to consumers using a pyramid model. The startup has had several funding rounds, raising $26 million in a Serie B in November 2019.
The DFC fund is a signature initiative of the Trump administration’s Africa outreach policy worth $60 billion. This fund aims to double investment in low and middle-income countries. In the third quarter of 2020, $3.6 billion of that money has gone to investments worldwide, with $1.7 billion going into projects in Mozambique alone.
The DFC will be an addition to an already developed American footprint in the continent through bodies like Development Credit Authority (DCA), USAID, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).