- US-based Seed investor and accelerator Y Combinator has acquired 7 per cent of shares in Morocco-based B2B e-commerce startup Chari, which is slated to participate in the accelerator's 2021 summer batch.
- Co-founded by Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj in January 2020, Chari looks to digitise the largely fragmented FMCG sector by directly connecting store owners and retailers to wholesalers.
- It says that it is registering a monthly growth rate of more than 10 per cent and plans to end 2021 with a turnover of more than $20 million.
- Chari raised $240,000 from Orange Ventures in a Seed round in January this year.
Y Combinator is a San Francisco-based startup accelerator. It is known to be the most selective startup incubator in the world (only 1% of the start-ups that apply are accepted1 ).
Big names such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Twitch, Sendbird, Reddit, or even Zapier have gone through Y Combinator2 . With offices in Morocco and Tunisia, Chari becomes the first startup operating in several Maghrebian markets to welcome YC in its cap table. With the acquisition of 7% of Chari’s equity, Y Combinator joins the prestigious cap table of the Moroccan e-commerce and FinTech app already comprised of American and European Venture Capitalists such as Plug and Play (Silicon Valley's Most Active Venture Capitalist3 ) or Orange Digital Ventures (Financial arm of the French telecom operator Orange4 ).
Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat, co-founders of Chari, will participate in Y Combinator's 'summer batch 2021', which will take place between July and September 2021. At the end of this acceleration program, the startup will be presented during a 'Demo Day' to an audience of over 1000 international Venture Capitalists looking for the next gold nuggets.
"It's an honor for us to participate in the S21 batch of Y Combinator. With my co-founder, we will belong to the very closed circle of YC Alumni, allowing us to benefit from a global network of brilliantly successful startups. This will create a lot of value for our start-up, says Ismael Belkhayat, CEO and co-founder of Chari.
As a reminder, Chari is a B2B e-commerce and FinTech application allowing traditional convenience stores to order all the products resold in their shop with the promise of having them delivered in less than 24 hours. Chari was incubated within Dislog Group before joining the ranks of STATION F Paris and seducing more than ten thousand grocery stores in Morocco.
Launched in January 2020 by the duo Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj, Chari is experiencing a monthly growth of more than 10% and plans to end 2021 with a turnover of more than 20 million dollars. At the end of 2020, Chari received the African startup of the year award from the French telecom operator Orange in a competition in which more than 500 startups participated.