Chari, a Moroccan B2B e-commerce and fintech startup, has raised a seed round of $5 million, valuing the company at US$70 million and positioning it for expansion across French-speaking Africa.
Chari, which was founded by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat last year, was a part of Y Combinator’s Summer batch, which ended two months ago. Traditional Moroccan local store operators can order things and have them delivered through Chari.ma. 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.
Plug and Play, Village Capital/MetLife Foundation, Orange Ventures, Airbnb executives, SPE Capital, Pincus Capital Management, The Chandaria family, Michael Lahyani, and the management company of an American Ivy League university all participated in this seed round.
The round, which is currently the largest of its kind in Morocco, was co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 Ventures.
“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 funding round, which took four weeks to close. It will be used to expand Chari and Karny across French-speaking Africa, as well as to integrate financial services such as digital payment, money transfer, and BNPL into Chari’s product roadmap.