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B2B e-commerce startup Chari received additional funding from Plug and Play

Plug and Play has provided additional funding to Chari, a B2B e-commerce startup with embedded financing for the FMCG industry, to help it continue on its growth trajectory. Chari is based in Morocco.

Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat, a husband-and-wife team, founded Chari in 2020 to make it possible for Moroccan proximity store owners to order products and have them delivered. Over 20,000 food businesses have joined the platform in Morocco, and it has since expanded to Tunisia and the Ivory Coast.

The company, which was a part of the Y Combinator S21 batch, raised a US $5 million seed round in late 2021 and added to its funding in January of the following year. It received an additional US $1 million in funding in February from Orange Ventures, Orange’s venture capital investment division.

In 2020, Plug and Play, a top innovation platform that links corporations, universities, venture capital firms, and governmental organizations, made its initial investment in Chari. It has since made additional investments in the company.

“Morocco’s startup scene is growing, with more and more companies securing funding at more advanced stages of growth. We’re thrilled to be part of this dynamic ecosystem, and we’re particularly excited about Chari, who first caught our attention as part of our inaugural cohort in Morocco in partnership with the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Startgate. Ismael and Sophia are stellar entrepreneurs, and we’re confident that they will achieve great things,” said Aziz El Hachem, North Africa director at Plug and Play.

With a clear vision to dominate the region and develop additional services, Chari has already established itself as the top B2B e-commerce platform for FMCG products in Morocco. These services will give the company opportunities to expand its market share and develop new revenue streams, such as embedded fintech. The business recently made history by becoming the first VC-backed startup to be granted a payment license by the Moroccan Central Bank.

“We are excited to continue investing in Sophia and Ismael’s vision. With prior experience in building and scaling startups, we believe they are the right founders to build this company,” El Hachem said.

“We are confident that after raising from a great line-up of investors including Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, Endeavor Catalyst, Global Founders Capital, Harvard University Management Company, Orange Ventures, Verod-Kepple, among others, Chari will continue to grow and establish itself as a market leader in the FMCG e-commerce space in Africa. We are thrilled to be a part of this success story, and to renew our commitment to support Sophia, Ismael, and the Chari team in their journey.”

 

 

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