Egypt's Appetito Acquires Lamma, Becomes Africa's Largest E-Commerce Platform by Market Size

Egypt's Appetito Acquires Lamma, Becomes Africa's Largest E-Commerce Platform by Market Size

Appetito, Egypt’s Quick-Commerce platform that delivers groceries and household products to customers from 11 dark stores in three Egyptian cities, is acquiring Lamma, another Q-Commerce platform that operates in the Maghreb regions of Tunisia and Morocco, for an undisclosed sum in a deal that is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year.

When asked how Appetito funded the acquisition, Shehab Mokhtar, the CEO and founder of the startup said, “We’ve been very cost efficient with solid unit economics from day one.” The fact that we were able to accomplish so much with so little is compelling evidence. Furthermore, we will soon close an eighth figure investment to accelerate our growth even further.”

Yassir El Ismaili El Idrissi, Hamza Guesmi, and Koussi Aymen founded the Orange Ventures-backed Lamma in Tunisia as a carpooling service in 2020. It evolved into a fast commerce platform that delivered groceries, personal care, and fashion items to users in Tunisia and Morocco in under 45 minutes.

Lamma team, along with its three dark stores and distribution center, will be integrated into Appetito as the two companies “explore many synergies.” El Idrissi will take over as Appetito’s chief expansion and growth officer.

According to Mokhtar, the acquisition makes Appetito the largest q-commerce player in Africa. It bases its claim on the number of markets in which it currently operates: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. “No other African q-commerce player operates in such large markets.”

According to the startup, its goal is to become the largest q-commerce player in frontier and emerging markets. Similar upstarts, such as Rabbit, operate in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while older players, such as Breadfast, operate more than 50 dark stores in Egypt.

Appetito’s acquisition of Lamma is a first among small players in the African market. They use similar models, particularly with delivery times ranging from 45 minutes to two hours; Appetito also allows for scheduled daily or weekly deliveries. This timing model is distinct from the “under 20-minute” pitch popularized by Breadfast and Rabbit.

One of the reasons Mokhtar is confident in the company’s continuous growth — Appetito claims to be achieving double-digit margins — despite the downsizing and shutdowns faced by q-commerce platforms globally is the company’s prioritization of quality and affordability over speed and convenience.

According to the CEO, the continent’s fragmented retail market creates a solid business case for q-commerce models such as Appetito. “We are not only concerned with providing convenience, but also with addressing massive inefficiencies in the supply chain and providing real value to our customers and suppliers,” he explained.