The investment will be utilised to promote the women-focused eCommerce platform’s overall aim to ensure that women are provided viable, secure, and easy access to education surrounding their reproductive health, contraceptives, menstrual, beauty, and health products.
In addition, the financial support will assist in expanding Kasha’s offering across Kenya and Rwanda.
Kasha receives $1 million investment fund from Swedfund to expand the platform
In an official press release, Maria Håkansson, CEO of Swedfund, explains the objective to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the importance of investing in Kasha.
‘‘Social stigma around sexual and reproductive health in Africa is very common leading to women not getting access to the right information and safe products to make empowered decisions about their health. Our investment aims to strengthen SRHR – the right to decide over one’s own body, sexuality and reproduction are fundamental for the work with human rights, and against discrimination. Kasha is a women-founded and women-led tech company, that strives to make it easier for women, especially low-income women, to access genuine products and information for their health and personal care.’’
Kasha was founded in Rwanda in 2016 by two former Microsoft employees, Joanna Bichsel and Amanda Arch. The startup has since expanded to Kenya.
Kasha collaborates with various corporations and organizations that support their vision of providing underprivileged women with products and services that are of high quality. Targeted at women in underserved communities, Kasha Global allows users to purchase the mentioned items digitally via any type of smartphone. In addition, users are able to make informative decisions on their purchase with accessible educational information detailed with each product available.
Women without an internet connection or a smartphone can still access the digital platform, which contributes to inclusivity in the marketplace by supporting offline and online eCommerce.
The African tech startup’s business model focuses on three core factors which include, access to health products, access to health information, employment opportunities, and improved livelihoods for low-income women. Kasha uses female technology known as Femtech to create innovative solutions to improve the health of women.
Low-income women located in urban and rural areas, who are unable to access affordable and quality health products, make up 65% of Kasha’s customers. Over 200 trained agents who are also low-income women in Rwanda and Kenya, provide Kasha customers with accurate information, aggregate orders, and offer last-mile delivery to customers.
The $1-million investment received from Swedfund allows Kasha to accelerate growth and impact across Kenya and Rwanda. The probability to improve the platform, and support its expansion into other African countries has increased due to the investment fund.
Joanna Bichsel, Kasha Founder, and CEO said the partnership with Swedfund is crucial in the expansion of Kasha.
“Kasha is thrilled to be able to partner with Swedfund, a purpose-driven investor with extensive experience investing in developing markets. We feel strong alignment with Swedfund in scaling Kasha to one day serve millions of women in Africa and beyond, ensuring that all women have the health and personal care products they need to live their best lives.”
Swedfund continuously aims to invest in the healthcare industry, to drive equality and accessibility to quality healthcare products and services for all population groups.
Due to Covid-19, there is an increase in the need for private sector investments in third world countries.
Featured image: Joanna Bichsel, co-founder and CEO of Kasha, Facebook
Local emotional intelligence app users significantly grow
It’sOk, an innovative tech startup that aims to promote emotional intelligence among students has experienced exponential growth.
Based in Johannesburg, It’sOk, an innovative tech startup that aims to promote emotional intelligence among students has experienced exponential growth in the number of the users of its unique and cutting-edge platform.
ItsOk experiences massive growth in users in SA
With its hard launch only taking place a mere few months ago in March with users from a single school, King David Victory Park, the app has grown tremendously since then.
In an interview with Ventureburn Cody Gordon, co-founder, and CEO of It’sOk explains;
“It’sOk had its hard launch this March with 50 students in King David Victory Park. Since then, we have experienced a huge amount of growth both on our product side and our school client base. In 2022 we will have 10 000+ users on our app. These users are a combination of parents, teachers and students.”
According to reports from the tech startup, it will be present in the follow institutions in 2022; the Crawford International group, St Peter’s Boys and Girls, Centennial Schools, King David Victory Park, Uplands College and a few Curro schools.
Not only is the app being utilised by in-person teaching but also through online schools.
“We’ve also seen our app making a huge positive impact in schools of all backgrounds for example, The Tomorrow Trust students, which comprises of orphaned and vulnerable children all have access to It’sOk,” adds Gordon.
With innovation and emotional intelligence growth for students at the forefront of the startup focuses, Gordon explains that the app has been upgraded to meet the needs of the schools and their students.
“An example of this is that we have now developed and automatic flagging system for schools to identify at risk students. Strategic people in the schools arat-riskied of these students and this allows the school to help these students and develop specific interventions instantly,”
ItsOk is a tech startup that has created an innovative emotional intelligence app that is designed specifically for a school environment.
The tech startup has combined the power of technology with a holistic approach to promoting emotional awareness and intelligence among young students in South Africa.
With many institutions reaping the benefits of employing ItsOk’s platform with their students, Justin Attlee, St Peter’s Boys – Head of Pastoral Care highlights the impact that it has had on their learners.
“The huge value our schools are seeing in our technology is that the students now have a dedicated time each day to develop their emotional intelligence through our app, students now have a safe place to express how they are feeling and receive assistance when they need it. The schools are now also able to be proactive in their mental wellness strategies in the school based on the It’sOk data. This allows the school to be proactive instead of reactive in dealing with student emotions, “Thanks so much for the weekly feedback. This is giving us great insight in how the boys are feeling and allowing us to be proactive in implementing interventions.”
Featured image: (Left to right) Cody Gordon, CEO and Michale Dukes CTO of It’sOk (Supplied)
In an interview with Ventureburn Cody Gordon, co-founder, and CEO of It’sOk explains;
SA fintech partners with rising global fintech to foster financial inclusion in SA –
Ukheshe Technologies has partnered with Chipper to help in the global fintech’s rollout of digital payment services and products.
Innovative and ground-breaking local fintech Ukheshe Technologies has partnered with new-kid-on-the-block Chipper to help in the global fintech’s rollout and implementation of digital payment services and products.
Ukheshe has partnered with Chipper
The products which Chipper cahs aims to roll out include free and unlimited peer-to-peer payments across South Africa along with added benefits such as purchasing airtime, data and also the ability to legally purchase and sell cryptocurrency. Chipper’s service and digital payments aim to be a game-changer among the local community.
Not only will the partnership yield new fintech services for locals but it also will enable effective and safe financial transactions across the continent. The partnership aims to work in harmony allowing existing customers of Chipper to use this function as it will incorporate Ukheshe’s Eclipse API framework.
Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe comments on the partnership with Chipper.
“Ukheshe’s Eclipse API provides access to payment technology, products and services – all from one convenient platform. The rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions is undeniable and we are thrilled to partner with Chipper, a company that shares our vision and enthusiasm for credible, seamless payment solutions that drive the payments revolution in Africa.”
Founded a mere three years ago, the ‘rising start’ tech startup has been labelled as the continents ‘biggest and fastest-growing payment app.
With Chipper users are able to easily conduct instant no-fee local and cross border money transfers and discounted airtime purchases.
Since its official launch, Chipper claims to have over four million users in eight countries in Africa and the UK.
With financial inclusion at the forefront of the aims of both of these startups, the partnership will build on fostering financial inclusion by creating accessible financial digital solutions for individuals in Africa
“The relationship between Ukheshe and Chipper aims to spearhead digital-first fintech solutions made in Africa to broaden access and financial inclusion for those who need it most. Our digital payment solution supports wallet functionality and will offer much-needed simplified payment solutions that allow users to send and receive cross-border payments safely, quickly, and efficiently, ” concludes Hayward.
Featured image: Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe (Supplied)
Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe comments on the partnership with Chipper.
Startup partners with Telkom to launch translation platform for SA languages
Telkom has partnered with SA startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription services for local languages.
Telkom has partnered with South African startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription services for local languages.
The platform, called izwe.ai, was unveiled at the AI Expo Africa 2021. It is described as “a multi-lingual technology platform that transforms your audio and video data to text, captions or subtitles in your local languages”.
Telkom and Enlabeler collaborated to create the platform, with the aim of providing a way to bridge the language gap in a variety of industries.
“With Enlabeler, we have built a solution that can offer a seamless transcription experience with highly localised and reliable outputs, which help us deliver as a strategic partner for our clients,” Telkom Executive of Data Science Stefan Steffen said in a statement.
“Working with an agile startup like Enlabeler has helped us accelerate our long-term plans to unlock this market segment. ”
Enlabeler is a data labelling and annotation solutions provider.
Founded in 2019, the company describes itself as Africa’s first remote data labelling community. It employs people around the country to augment and train the AI solutions and services provided by the company.
The company provides video and image annotation services, computer vision and object detection models, entity extraction from text datasets, as well as translation and transcription services.
The izwe.ai translation platform
According to Telkom, the izwe.ai platform has a unique ability to interpret South African accents. It also uses machine learning to constantly improve its translations.
The aim of the platform is to provide transcription and translation across a range of industries. These include education, academia, legal services, and media production.
“This technology can be a game-changer in business, as well as education, government, and healthcare delivery,” Telkom head of Innovation Dr Mmaki Jantjies said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Telkom Foundation CEO Sarah Mthintso highlighted the education benefits of the service.
“STEM subjects are the foundation for the careers of the future, but to truly drive digital transformation in South Africa, we need learners to be able to learn in their home language,” Mthintso said in a statement.
“That’s where AI-driven speech services are so important.”
Translation and transcription service launch
The service will be launched in a phased approach. The first phase includes the launch of izwe.ai and the collection of information from potential clients via survey.
The service is offering five hours of free machine transcription in exchange for the completion of the survey.
The second phase will include the release of the machine transcription model.
“In release 2 you will have access to a market-leading machine transcription model to transcribe your files with a click of a button,” the service says on its website.
The third phase will include the implementation of human input into automatic transcription outputs. Finally, phase four will include the launch of additional services.
You can find out more about the platform on the izwe.ai website.
Feature image: Ventureburn
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