MaxAB, an Egyptian business to business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace startup, has secured seed funding of $6.2m, in one of the largest ever seed rounds raised by a MENA start-up.
The round was co-led by Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures, and Endure Capital, with participation from 500 Startups, Outlierz Ventures and other local investors.
The company, which connects informal food and grocery retailers with suppliers via an easy-to-use app, aims to reach 50% of Egypt’s population within two years using this raised capital.
“Nobody has addressed the underserved retailers before; retailers are faced with a limited assortment of products, the hassle of dealing with multiple wholesalers and restricted access to credit facilities. At the other end of the supply chain, the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) have limited visibility on market trends, demand patterns and retailers’ business needs – leading to a loss of potential revenue opportunities,” said Belal El-Megharbel, Co-Founder and CEO at MaxAB.
MaxAB is led by Egyptian and Libyan entrepreneurs El-Megharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim. The company uses technology to close the gap between traditional retailers [over 400,000 in Egypt] and, FMCGs via its Android app.
It is working to automate and simplify Egypt’s $45bn FMCG food retail market and has recorded 50 percent month-on-month growth, with 9,000 activated retailers on the platform already.
“We are using data and analytics to understand purchasing and retail behaviours, as well as make the end-to-end process of brands seamless and convenient,” El-Megharbel explained.
Beco Capital managing partner, Yousef Hammad, said that MaxAB is redefining the grocery supply chain in Egypt to fit the requirements of the micro retailers who make up 90% of the grocery market.
Similarly, Peter Orth, co-founder and Managing Partner at 4DX Ventures, said “We’ve been consistently impressed with how Belal and the rest of the team have executed, and achieved significant traction in a very short period of time. We believe that their B2B e-commerce model is the right way to serve this significant market, and we’re really excited to partner with the team to drive the next phase of growth.”