Morocco’s Chari secures US$1.5m from Verof-Kepple Africa Ventures

Morocco’s Chari secures US$1.5m from Verof-Kepple Africa Ventures

Morocco-based B2B e-commerce and fintech startup Chari has raised $1.5 million from Verof-Kepple Africa Ventures to be the third investment round this year, according to the company.

Chari has secured three fundraisings this year including a seed round from Plug and Play and US$1 million from Orange Ventures.

Chari worked on digitizing the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) trade as the sector has 80% informal trade shops. The Morcco-based startup is finding innovative solutions to operational inefficiencies and limited access to trade finance among retail shops.

Meanwhile, Ryosuke (Rio) Yamawaki, Partner at VKAV, has been appointed as a Strategic Advisor to the company, reinforcing their commitment to transforming the informal retail sector and driving economic growth in the region.

The investment will empower Chari to expand its reach across Africa and scale its portfolio of financial services.

Founded in 2020 by Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj, Chari lets retailers purchase large quantities of inventory items directly from suppliers. 

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 endeavors.

“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.”

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