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VKAV led $1.5 M secured by Moroccan B2B e-commerce startup Chari

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has provided Chari, a B2B e-commerce startup with embedded financing for the FMCG industry, with an additional US $1.5 million to support its growth strategy. 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 announced follow-on funding from Plug and Play in June after raising an additional US $1 million from Orange Ventures, Orange’s venture capital investment arm, in February.

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.

VKAV, a joint venture between the African growth capital private equity firm Verod Holdings and the Japanese venture capital firm Kepple Africa Ventures (KAV), has now provided it with an additional US $1.5 million in funding. VKAV was established in 2021. The company, led by partners Satoshi Shinada, Ryosuke Yamawaki, and Ory Okolloh, revealed in March that it had raised US $43 million for its pan-African venture fund, which makes investments in scalable, technologically advanced, post-revenue startups tackling challenging issues on the continent.

“We are thrilled to onboard VKAV as our partner as we establish a cutting-edge and fundamental financial services infrastructure for the mass market in our country. With VKAV’s extensive network across Africa and profound connections with the Japanese corporate society, we believe they will consistently bring value to our endeavours,” said Ismael Belkhayat.

Ryosuke Yamawaki, who will join Chari’s board, claimed that Chari was ideally situated to redefine the informal retail sector and the informal trade category in Africa.

“We firmly believe that their innovative approach will benefit the local market and serve as a showcase to the rest of the world,” he said.




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