Chari, a B2B e-commerce and fintech startup headquartered in Morocco, has successfully raised $1.5 million in funding from Verof-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV). This investment will provide Chari with the opportunity to expand its operations throughout Africa and enhance its range of financial services.
In addition to securing funding, Chari has appointed Ryosuke (Rio) Yamawaki, a partner at VKAV, as a strategic advisor. This move underscores the company’s dedication to transforming the informal retail sector and promoting economic growth within the region.
Similar to other African countries, Morocco heavily relies on unofficial retail stores for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) trade. These informal retail establishments account for more than 80% of all FMCG trade in the country. However, these vital institutions often face operational inefficiencies due to multiple intermediaries involved, limited digitization, and restricted access to trade credit.
Chari has emerged as a disruptive force in this market by providing essential goods and services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner compared to informal retail stores. The company’s innovative approach aims to address the existing challenges and improve the overall efficiency of FMCG trade in Morocco.
Ismael Belkhayat, CEO and Co-founder of Chari expressed his excitement about partnering with VKAV during this pivotal phase of the company’s growth. He said, “We are thrilled to onboard VKAV as our partner as we establish a cutting-edge and fundamental financial services infrastructure for the mass market in our country. With VKAV’s extensive network across Africa and profound connections with the Japanese corporate society, we believe they will consistently bring value to our endeavours.”
Ryosuke (Rio) Yamawaki, Partner at VKAV, emphasized the firm’s focus on investing in category-defining African start-ups. Yamawaki said, “Chari is uniquely positioned to transform the informal retail sector and redefine the category of informal trade in Africa. We firmly believe that their innovative approach will benefit the local market and serve as a showcase to the rest of the world.”
As VKAV joins forces with Chari, the investment will provide the necessary impetus to drive the company’s growth plans and further develop its ground-breaking financial services infrastructure for the masses. The partnership will enable Chari to continue delivering innovative solutions, propelling Morocco’s economy forward and showcasing the potential of Africa’s informal retail sector on a global scale.