Moroccan B2B e-commerce and fintech startup Chari has raised a US$5 million seed round which values the company at US$70 million and sets it up for expansion into French-speaking Africa.
Founded last year by husband and wife team Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat, Chari.ma allows traditional proximity store owners in Morocco to order products and have them delivered. It works with more than 50 per cent of the proximity stores in Casablanca, and recently announced the acquisition of mobile credit book application Karny.ma as it aims to offer more services to its users.
A participant in the Y Combinator S21 batch, Chari has now closed a US$5 million seed round co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 Ventures. Other investors participating in the round include Plug and Play, Y Combinator, Village Capital, MetLife Foundation, Orange Ventures, AirAngels, SPE Capital, Pincus Private Equity, Reflect Ventures, the Chandaria family, Propertyfinder founder Michael Lahyani, and the management company of an American Ivy League University.
“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 Series A in six to nine months,” said Ismael Belkhayat.
The post-YC funding took four weeks to close, and the round values Chari at US$70 million. It will be used to expand Chari and Karny to French-speaking Africa, while Chari also plans to embed financial services such as digital payment, money transfer and BNPL within its product roadmap.