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Y Combinator Acquires 7% of Moroccan E-Commerce Startup Chari

It’s been a good year for the Moroccan company, which was named African Startup of the Year 2020 by Orange Ventures.

San Francisco-based seed investor and accelerator, Y Combinator (YC) has acquired a 7% share in Morocco-based business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce startup Chari, which is to participate in the investor’s summer 2021 batch.

Founded in January 2020 by Belkhayat and Sophia Alj, the company has endeavoured to digitise the highly-fragmented fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector by directly connecting store owners and retailers to wholesalers.

It joins a long list of big players that have gone through the highly-selective YC, including AirBnb, Dropbox, Reddit, and Twitch.

The move was welcomed by Ismael Belkhayat, Chari co-founder and CEO, who said "it's an honor for us to participate in the S21 batch of Y Combinator. With my co-founder, we will belong to the very closed circle of YC Alumni, allowing us to benefit from a global network of brilliantly successful startups. This will create a lot of value for our start-up.”

Already registering a monthly growth rate of over 10% and with plans to complete 2021 with a turnover of more than $20 million, the acquisition becomes the latest in a lasting flurry of good news for Chari, which was named in 2020 as African Startup of the Year by French telecom operator Orange, overcoming competition from over 500 startups.

The company had also raised $240,000 in a Seed round investment from Orange Ventures in January 2021.

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