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Chari, a Moroccan B2B eCommerce and Fintech raises $5M at $70M valuation in most significant seed round

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Chari Co-Founders; Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat (Image: Supplied)

After completing the summer‘21 batch of Y Combinator, Chari announces the closing of a 5M USD seed round co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, and P1 ventures. Some of the other investors who participated in this round are Plug and Play, Y combinator, Village Capital / MetLife Foundation, Orange Ventures , Air Angels – AirBnB investors, SPE Capital, Pincus Private Equity, Reflect Ventures, The Chandaria family, Michael Lahyani, CEO and founder of Propertyfinder and the management company of an American Ivy League University.

This is the first time many of these investors, including GFC, PnP, Orange, Village Capital… have invested in a startup in Morocco.

‘We have carefully selected the VCs of this seed round based on their ability to help us build a great business. We are now focusing on achieving our short-term targets to raise a significant Serie A in six to nine months’ said Ismael Belkhayat, Cofounder and CEO of Chari, and a Cornell University and BCG Alumni.

The post YC funding took four weeks to close, and the round values Chari at $70 million. The investor’s excitement to Chari comes as the startup addresses the procurement issues of the 300k grocery stores of Morocco and Tunisia.

‘We are happy to lead the way of the nascent Moroccan startup ecosystem. We hope that this seed round will be one the first of a long series of noticeable seed funding in Moroccan Startupssaid Sophia Alj, Cofounder and COO of Chari, and a McGill University and McKinsey Alumni.

Chari partners with FMCG Multinationals and local manufacturers to distribute their goods to local mom and pop shops in less than 24h. It also provides payment facilities and financial services through the recent acquisition of Karny.ma.

The money raised will be used to expand Chari and Karny to French-Speaking Africa. In addition, Chari plans to embed financial services such as digital payment, money transfer and BNPL in its product roadmap.

 

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3attar secures seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment and Angel Investors

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3attar a health-focused tech and e-commerce platform secures seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment and individual Angel Investors. Established in 2019, 3attar is a B2C online platform that provides value to its customers through: Online healthy food/products ordering, Delivery services, Diet-consultation programs and Live-coaching programs. Additional subscription and e-payment models.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the company was quick to expand its ‘selection from a few hundred products to +3,000. Rendering it the biggest healthy-shopping destination in Egypt. Its unique name/logo combination expanded to grow into its own private label that generates 20% of the entire business revenue model.

Mohamed Ali, founder/CEO of 3attar said “We aim to become the dominant one-stop shop for the whole health community in Egypt. And expand into MENA regions; including chronic diseases and obesity by providing a holistic healthy lifestyle app.” 

The company’s vision is to support the health community that is comprised of At-risk individuals who lack the resources, awareness, products necessary to alleviate their conditions and improve their health (customers suffering from Obesity, Diabetes, Allergies, Hypertension and more). Healthy individuals as well as Athletes, Dieters and Fitness professional. Who maintain and lead a healthy food intake and are constantly seeking a platform that holistically offers all their lifestyle needs.

Eng. Tarek Roushdy, investor and board advisory member of 3attar said: “Since the huge growth in the global “health” community is reaching the MENA region rapidly. 3attar made a smart move to be the first and only platform to serve not only the health community in Egypt and MENA. But also those who want to joint this movement. I am glad to be part of this journey helping them to bring such value to that big market ..” 

Mariam Kamel, of AUC Angels said: “The specialized e-commerce space has witnessed increased inflow of angel investments and venture capital this past year. 3attar not only satisfies this, but also strives for impact in addressing the growing trends towards healthier living.” 

The investment raised will be utilized to expand the customer-base through marketing acquisition and diversification. Further developing the tech-stack to achieve higher order volume and revenues.

 

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EFG Hermes Closes Sixth Issuance for Premium International for Credit Services in an EGP 170 Million Securitization Transaction

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EFG Hermes Mostafa Gad (Image: Supplied)

EFG Hermes’ investment banking division, the leading investment banking franchise in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM). Announced today that it has successfully closed the sixth issuance, worth EGP 170 million. As part of Premium International for Credit Services’ (Premium) EGP 2 billion securitization program. This transaction marks the first issuance this year, following two transactions last year, as part of the two-year program.

Premium is the originator, assigning a portfolio to EFG Hermes, the securitization special purpose vehicle (SPV), backed by Premium customer credit portfolios. The EGP 170 million bond, which consists of a single 10-month tranche, received a “Prime 1 Rating” for its last five issuances. The strongest amongst Egyptian bond issuances as quoted by Middle East Ratings and Investor Services (MERIS).

Mostafa Gad, Co-Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes, commented: “Our partnership with Premium is a reflection of the continued growth of the Egyptian debt capital market space. With the sixth transaction in the program highlighting an increasing utilization of the asset class. The success of this issuance is a testament to our team’s commitment to broadening our capacity for value creation. And expanding our offering to bring together a holistic set of services that incite growth for our partners and clients alike.”

The deal follows the Firm’s back-to-back conclusions of a securitized bond offering worth EGP 627.5 million for Pioneers Properties for Urban Development. And EGP 790 million for EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ first issuance, both in December 2021. Both transactions come on the heels of the Firm’s successful advisory on valU’s first securitized bond offering, worth EGP 322.5 million, in September 2021.

EFG Hermes acted as the sole financial advisor, sole transaction manager & book-runner, underwriter, and arranger.

With a current footprint spanning thirteen countries across four continents. EFG Hermes Holding (EGX: HRHO.CA – LSE: EFGD) started in Egypt and has grown over 37 years of success to become a universal bank in Egypt. With a leading investment banking platform with access to emerging and frontier markets. Drawing on our proven track-record and a diverse team of talented employees. EFG Hermes provide a wide spectrum of financial services that include advisory, asset management, securities brokerage, research and private equity to the entire MENA region.

 

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Softline expands in MENA by increasing its investments in the Egyptian market

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Softline, the leading company in digital transformation, cloud and cybersecurity services, unveiled a plan to increase its business and investments in Egypt. The company recently held a series of meetings with officials in different sectors and government institutions including the Ministry of Communications and Information, The General Authority for Investments and the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).

During these meetings, representatives from the company and government discussed a wide range of issues including Softline’s targeted investments over the next few years, as the company works to consolidate its presence and investments in Egypt. They also discussed the joint frameworks of cooperation to support Egypt’s national plan for digital transformation, which encompasses various companies and sectors.

The meetings also touched on the company’s plan and strategy to hire recent engineering graduates from Egyptian colleges – especially the technology colleges – and also providing ongoing support through training.

The meetings were attended by Roy Harding, President of Softline International; Atul Ahuja, Softline Senior Vice President for Middle East, Africa and Asia; Engineer Ahmed Nabil, Managing Director of Softline Egypt; and Mohamed Khattab, director of government and education sector at Softline Egypt.

Engineer Ahmed Nabil, the managing director of Softline Egypt commented: “It was an honour to meet with officials and decision makers in Egypt, which is making a great leap forward in terms of its digital transformation and IT. Today we are looking forward to expanding our business in the Middle East by increasing our investments in Egypt, which will also serve as a hub for our business in the region.”

Softline provides digital transformation and cybersecurity services in more than 50 countries and around 95 global cities. Roy Harding, Softline International’s President mentioned: “These meetings have given us a very clear sense of how Softline can support the public and private sectors, and we’re excited to be playing a part in realizing Egypt’s vision for overhauling its digital infrastructure over the next decade.”

Atul Ahuja, Softline Senior Vice President for Middle East, Africa and Asia, commented: “At Softline Egypt, we feel we are at the right time and right place. Softline’s global experience in offering solutions and services for emerging economies would be just right for the growth and transformation Egypt as a country is experiencing”.

The company also contributes to building and managing a safe hybrid infrastructure for its clients. It also provides support and maintenance teams for the required infrastructure to support global digital transformation, cloud services and cybersecurity.

Nabil, asserted that the stable economic situation in Egypt and the continued improvement of the investment environment in Egypt “gives us a confident push to increase our investments in Egypt and support Egypt’s national agenda and the long-term strategic plan of the state to achieve the principles and goals of the sustainable development in all sectors according to Egypt 2030 vision”.

 

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