Moroccan E-commerce Startup, Chari Enters Ivorian Market through Diago Acquisition
Diago, which operates solely in Abidjan, was founded in 2021 by Ali Ouattara and Amidou Diarra, two former Glovo and PepsiCo executives. The two founders will continue to serve as CEO and COO, respectively, and will manage local business growth before expanding into other Sub-Saharan African countries.
“Diago’s complete team will have Chari’s full support functions,” according to Cyrille Jacques, Chari’s vice president in charge of directing international expansion. In addition, Chari’s back office in Casablanca will assist the Diago team in establishing operations, IT tools, and customer service.”
Ismael Belkhayat and his wife Sophia Alj co-founded Chari in 2020 as an FMCG and financial services digital distributor targeting grocery stores in Francophone Africa. Shop owners can order their goods through its site and deliver them within 24 hours.
Chari incubated within the family-owned H&S Invest Holding before joining the ranks of STATION F in Paris. The business began operations in Morocco before extending to Tunisia in early 2022.
The B2B e-commerce firm collaborates with FMCG giants and local manufacturers to provide goods to mom and pop shops in less than 24 hours. Through its recent acquisition of Karny. ma, it also offers payment services and financial services.
The acquisition of Diago will be necessary for Chari’s expansion goals. According to the CEO, after a successful proof of concept in Morocco, Chari aspires to become the leader of its business model in Francophone Africa.
“The secret of a successful expansion is building local team masters local market dynamics. The real challenge is to convince local entrepreneurs to join forces with Chari to grow faster. We continue to surround ourselves with young and ambitious entrepreneurs from Francophone Africa to build together a pan-African giant of FMCG and financial services distribution,” Belkhayat said.
Chari, which evolved from being strategy consultants with McKinsey and BCG, last raised a $5 million seed in a round co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 Ventures last October. With this acquisition, the startup is on the right track to achieving its dream of dominating the Francophone Africa e-commerce space.