Only last month, MaxAB, the B2B e-commerce platform for food and grocery retailers, raised one of the largest Series A on the continent worth $40 million. Today, it has raised a $15 million extension from existing investors — RMBV, IFC, Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, Endeavour Catalyst, Beco Capital and 4DX Ventures — bringing its total Series A fundraise to $55 million.
Belal El-Megharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim founded MaxAB in 2018. The Egyptian startup manages procurement and grocery delivery to shops. Store owners can use the platform to purchase goods, request delivery or logistics to move the goods, and access a customer support team.
In the first tranche of Series A funding, the startup stated that it plans to expand and establish a presence within the MENA region. Additionally, it intends to launch new product offerings and grow its team.
Today’s the startup has announced the acquisition of Morocco-based B2B e-commerce and distribution platform WaystoCap for an undisclosed amount.
Niama El Bassunie co-founded WaystoCap with Mehdi Daoui, Anis Abdeddine and Aziz Jaouhari Tissafi in 2015. The company was originally a cross-border trade platform for transacting business goods in Africa. That business model got WaystoCap into Y Combinator’s Winter batch in 2017, making it the first company accepted from Morocco.
WaystoCap took its cross-border services to Ivory Coast and Togo, and at some point, was processing over $3 million worth of transactions per quarter. However, since its pivot to a similar model to MaxAB, WaystoCap has pulled out from both countries while growing to a network of over 8,000 retailers in Morocco.
El-Megharbel said to TechCrunch that MaxAB’s plan to move into Morocco coincided with WaystoCap’s bid to raise new funding (the last time the company took venture capital was in 2017) and push further into the Moroccan market. The companies have agreed to work together rather than compete with each other. El Bassunie will take over the position as the managing director at MaxAB Morocco.
“I love the team. They share the same values and they’re on a mission that is using a tech-enabled supply chain to optimize food distribution across the continent,” he said in an interview. “For us, our strategy is to build a global team that can think local and execute properly. And we figured out that they’re already a perfect fit for that.”
The acquisition signals MaxAB’s into the Maghreb markets — Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, where there’s little or no contest.
The Company says more than 70,000 retailers across both platforms will “benefit from its technology, expanded end-to-end supply chain solutions and business intelligence tools as well as WaystoCap’s knowledge and expertise.”
“At the end of the day, what we want to do is build a tech-enabled supply chain, in all the African countries, in the Middle Eastern countries, and then connect them together. That’s where the magic happens. This is where we can actually have a real impact by putting the right amount of food at the right place at the right time, and minimizing the waste which MENA cannot afford,” said MaxAB CEO El-Meghabel.
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