Morocco’s Chari raises funding from UM6P Ventures

Chari, a Morocco-based B2B e-commerce startup with embedded financing for the FMCG sector, has secured investment from UM6P Ventures, the investment fund of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University.

Founded in 2020 by husband and wife team Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat, Chari allows traditional proximity store owners in Morocco to order products and have them delivered. The platform has onboarded over 20,000 food businesses in Morocco, and expanded into Tunisia and Ivory Coast.

A participant in the Y Combinator S21 batch, the company raised a US$5 million seed round in late-2021, and secured further investment in January of last year. In February it raised an additional US$1 million from Orange Ventures, in June it announced follow-on funding from Plug and Play, and in July a further US$1.5 million from Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV).

It has now banked further capital from UM6P Ventures, the investment fund of Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P), aiming to promote entrepreneurship and accelerate scientific innovation in Morocco and Africa. UM6P Ventures operates through two funds – a Deeptech projects fund and a Digital Transformation fund.

Ismael Belkhayat said Chari will use the funds raised to “become a leader in B2B e-commerce with embedded finance”. He added that the startup’s objective is to offer local businesses the opportunity to benefit from various financial services.