Chari, a young Moroccan start-up founded in 2020 by two Moroccan entrepreneurs, has experienced dazzling growth, which has enabled it to be ranked tenth in the prestigious African Fastest Growing Companies ranking. Today, it has become a benchmark in the FMCG distribution sector. Despite only being in existence for three years, this start-up has brilliantly risen to a number of challenges. In this article, we introduce you to this promising young innovative company.
Logistics, digitalization and e-commerce for a Moroccan 100% distribution service
In the logistics and distribution sector, Chari has made a name for itself in Morocco and beyond. The startup was founded in 2020 by Ismael Belkhayatand Sofia Aljtwo young Moroccans. Through a application designed to enable local shops to order products and have them delivered free of charge within 24 hours, Chari has democratised a new supply method for grocery and general food shops. The digital platform enables small retailers to order their goods from multinational FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) partners and local manufacturers.
Chari's offer for convenience stores includes not only regular supplies, but also financial services. In Morocco, there was a real demand in this sector, given that the FMCG market comprises 200,000 convenience stores and generates annual sales of up to 100 billion dirhams. As a result, this start-up has put in place solutions to digitise its entire supply chain. A Business Intelligence tool has even been deployed to give suppliers access to valuable information such as market trends and customer consumption habits. They also benefit from a high level of visibility for their products on the platform, detailed data on how their products are sold through the traditional channel, and marketing tools to convey messages to grocers. All these innovative offerings have enabled Chari to skyrocket and enjoy dazzling growth despite the competition.
International recognition is proof of a flourishing business
It took just one year for the start-up to join the famous incubator Y combinator and participated in "Summer batch 2021", an acceleration programme. Its round table includes prestigious investors such as Orange Digital and Plug and Play. Since its creation, the start-up has already raised 7.4 million dollars after eight rounds of financing to fund its expansion and business acquisitions. The most recent round of funding dates back to February 2023 and amounts to one million dollars. It has also acquired three companies, including Diago, an Ivorian application that connects local shops with producers and importers of fast-moving consumer goods, and Karny, a fintech application.
The acquisition of Diago marked the start of Chari's expansion into the African market. On 16 March 2023, the startup inaugurated its first digital shop in Ain Sebaa, Morocco, specially designed for local grocery shops. This physical shop is an extension of the application, allowing customers to place orders on the spot via a dedicated kiosk. Customers can select the products they wish to buy, validate their order and then go to the counter to make their payment. They can also choose the home delivery option.
The Chari solution is so practical and scalable that since its launch it has generated a huge amount of buzz in the tech sector. It won a prize in the 'Disrupter of the year' category at the Africa CEO Awards 2022, and a year earlier won the Middle East Africa Seed Challenge. In the same year, Ismael Belkhayat and Sofia Alj were named "Endeavor Entrepreneurs" by Endeavor Global, the global community of high-impact entrepreneurs. They were the only two African entrepreneurs out of the twelve selected by Endeavor Global.
Chari is a start-up that meets the needs of entrepreneurs by providing them with a regular supply of fast-moving consumer goods and financial services. Its success is undeniable, and its international recognition is clear proof of this. To support its various international expansion projects, Chari.ma has evolved into Chari.com. Today, Chari.ma is one of the leading start-ups in North Africa, and is well on the way to conquering the entire continent with its innovative logistics and e-commerce service.