Chari, a Moroccan B2B e-commerce and finance firm, has secured a seed round of $5 million, valuing the company at US $70 million and positioning it for growth across French-speaking Africa.
Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat founded Chari.ma last year to allow traditional neighbourhood store operators in Morocco to purchase items and have them delivered. It works with more than half of Casablanca’s proximity retailers and recently announced the acquisition of Karny.ma, a mobile credit book application, in order to provide new services to its consumers.
Chari, a graduate of Y Combinator’s S21 class, has raised $5 million in a seed round headed by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 Ventures. 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 an American Ivy League university’s management company are among the other investors in the round.
“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.
Chari was valued at US$70 million in the post-YC financing round, which took four weeks to conclude. It will be used to extend Chari and Karny throughout French-speaking Africa, as well as to integrate financial services such as digital payment, money transfer, and BNPL into Chari’s product roadmap.