Morocco’s Chari valued at $100M in bridge Funding Round

Morocco’s Chari valued at $100M in bridge Funding Round

Moroccan B2B e-commerce and retail startup, Chari, has announced it hit a $100m valuation after securing an undisclosed amount in a bridge round.

The bridge round welcomed new investors including Khwarizmi Ventures, Air Angels, and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group.

Recall that late last year, Chari also raise $5m from existing investors including Y-Combinator, Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, Plug n Play, Orange Ventures, Harvard University Management Company, Village Capital, and P1 Ventures. The startup also acquired the mobile credit book application Karny. ma in August 2021.

Chari is a B2B e-commerce and fintech platform launched in 2020 by husband and wife team Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat. The startup focuses on enabling customers to order any consumer goods they sell and get delivered for free in less than 24 hours. Chari is also a financial services provider for these retailers, offering them micro-loans.

Karny’s acquisition gives Chari valuable data on the loans provided by grocery stores to their customers and allows Chari to credit-assess the unbanked shop owners, determining the most applicable payment terms to give each. So, in essence, Karny data allows Chari to find out about the items sold by the shop owners to their end clients and the amount lent.

Abdulaziz Al-Turki, Managing Partner at Khwarizmi Ventures speaking on the funding said: “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”.

Ismael Belkhayat, Chari’s founder spoke on Chari’s high valuation at the seed level and why it only raised equity.

“Since this is just a pilot, I prefer to raise the money at a high valuation from funds that could help me with my strategy. I get a little diluted, but in exchange, I get a lot of help from experienced founders.

“Once the pilot succeeds, I will need much more funding for my working capital requirement and will raise debt instead of diluting equity,” said Ismael.

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.