- Morocco-based B2B e-commerce and fintech startup Chari, has closed an undisclosed bridge round led by the Saudi-based venture capital fund Khwarizmi Ventures (KV), AirAngels (Airbnb Alumni Investors), and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group at a valuation of $100 million.
- Founded in 2020 by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat, Chari aims to digitise the FMCG sector in French-speaking Africa by providing traditional convenience stores with the ability to order the products they need.
- The new round will allow Chari to pilot its buy now pay later (BNPL) services with grocery stores in Francophone Africa.
Aiming to take a serious step towards the fintech space, Chari announces today the closing of a bridge round led by the Saudi-based venture capital fund Khwarizmi Ventures (KV), AirAngels (Airbnb Alumni Investors), and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group.
Chari is a B2B e-commerce and fintech startup that digitises the largely fragmented FMCG sector in French-speaking Africa. By using Chari’s app, traditional convenience stores in Morocco and Tunisia can order all the products they need and receive them in less than 24 hours.
Founded by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat in January 2020, Chari recently graduated from the Y Combinator Summer 21 batch. In October 2021, Chari announced a USD 5M seed round along with the acquisition of Karny.ma, a Moroccan ledger book that had more than fifty thousand active users.
The recent acquisition of the credit book app Karny.ma gave Chari valuable data on the loans given by grocery stores to their customers. This allows Chari to credit-assess the unbanked shop owners and determines the most fitting payment terms given to each.
“Chari will use the money of 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”, announced Ismael Belkhayat CEO of Chari and Cornell University Alumni.
“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
This bridge round allows Khwarizmi Ventures, Air Angels and AKWA Group to join the existing cap table of Chari that includes Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, Plug n Play, Orange Ventures, Harvard University Management Company, Village Capital, P1 Ventures… among others.