Moroccan B2B e-commerce and fintech startup Chari has raised a bridge round of funding that values the company at US$100 million.
Founded in 2020 by husband-and-wife team Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat, Chari 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, has expanded into Tunisia, and in August announced the acquisition of mobile credit book application Karny.
A participant in the Y Combinator S21 batch, the company raised a US$5 million seed round late last year, and now aims to take serious steps into the fintech space after closing a bridge round led by the Saudi Arabia-based venture capital fund Khwarizmi Ventures, AirAngels (Airbnb Alumni Investors), and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group.
The recent acquisition of the credit book app Karny gave Chari valuable data on the loans given by grocery stores to their customers, allowing it to credit-assess unbanked shop-owners and determine the most fitting payment terms given to each.
“Chari will use the money from this bridge round to test the BNPL services with its existing customers. Upon successful results, Chari will acquire a local credit company to enable shop owners to lend money to their end users and further grow their business” said Ismael Belkhayat, Chari’s CEO.
‘Sophia and Ismael are visionary leaders that always make everyone around them think bigger every time they speak with them. We believe that under their leadership Chari will help in improving the lives of millions in Africa through simplified financial solutions. We are proud of their mission and delighted to join their adventure,” said Abdulaziz al-Turki, managing partner at Khwarizmi Ventures.