- Morocco-based fintech and B2B e-commerce Chari.ma has raised a $5 million Seed round at a valuation of $70 million, co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 Ventures.
- Other investors participating in this round include Plug and Play, Y Combinator, Village Capital, Orange Ventures, Air Angels, SPE Capital, Pincus, Private Equity, Reflect Ventures, the Chandaria family, Michael Lahyani, CEO and founder of Propertyfinder, and the management company of an American Ivy League University.
- The startup plans to use the funding to expand its operations in Africa, offer new fintech offerings, such as buy now pay later.
- Co-founded by Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj in January 2020, Chari.ma aims to digitise the largely traditional FMCG sector by connecting store owners and retailers to wholesalers.
- Chari.ma was among the Middle Eastern startups participating in Y Combinator's 2021 summer batch. It recently acquired Morocco-based fintech startup, Karni.
After completing the summer‘21 batch of Y Combinator, Chari announces the closing of a 5M USD seed round co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 ventures.
Some of the other investors who participated in this round are
Plug and Play
Village Capital / MetLife Foundation
Air Angels - AirBnB investors
Pincus Private Equity
The Chandaria family
Michael Lahyani, CEO and founder of Propertyfinder
and the management company of an American Ivy League University
This is the first time many of these investors, including GFC, PnP, Orange, Village Capital… have invested in a startup in Morocco.
‘We have carefully selected the VCs of this seed round based on their ability to help us build a great business. We are now focusing on achieving our short-term targets to raise a significant Serie A in six to nine months’ said Ismael Belkhayat, Cofounder and CEO of Chari, and a Cornell University and BCG Alumni.
The post YC funding took four weeks to close, and the round values Chari at $70 million. The investor’s excitement to Chari comes as the startup addresses the procurement issues of the 300k grocery stores of Morocco and Tunisia.
‘We are happy to lead the way of the nascent Moroccan startup ecosystem. We hope that this seed round will be one the first of a long series of noticeable seed funding in Moroccan Startups’ said Sophia Alj, Cofounder and COO of Chari, and a McGill University and McKinsey Alumni.
Chari partners with FMCG Multinationals and local manufacturers to distribute their goods to local mom and pop shops in less than 24h. It also provides payment facilities and financial services through the recent acquisition of Karny.ma
The money raised will be used to expand Chari and Karny to French-Speaking Africa. In addition, Chari plans to embed financial services such as digital payment, money transfer and BNPL in its product roadmap.