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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

MaxAB acquires Moroccan startup WaystoCap

Cairo-based B2B food and grocery startup MaxAB has acquired Moroccan ecommerce and logistics platform WaystoCap for an undisclosed amount, following a fresh USD 15 mn capital injection from its investors, TechCrunch reports. The new investment takes the company’s total series A funding to USD 55 mn, enabling it to expand outside of Egypt for the first time.

Who are the investors? This round of funding was raised from RMBV, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, Endeavour Catalyst, Beco Capital and 4DX Ventures. These are the same investors who took part in the company’s funding round earlier this year, which at USD 40 mn is one of the largest series A’s in Africa this year. The platform said back then it would use the proceeds to set up a branch in every key city in Egypt, with an eye to setting up shop in other MENA countries.

WaystoCap is an up-and-coming B2B marketplace + logistics firm: Founded in 2014 and backed by Y Combinator, WaystoCap operates an online B2B marketplace and provides customs and logistics services to businesses trading in Africa. The company has a physical presence in four African countries, as well as the US, the UK and Spain. The company last raised venture capital in 2017, when it landed a USD 3 mn in a seed round from investors including YC.

MaxAB’s acquisition will see over 70k retailers “benefit from its technology, expanded end-to-end supply chain solutions and business intelligence tools as well as WaystoCap’s knowledge and expertise,” the company said. The Egyptian company’s expansion plans coincided with WaystoCap's ambitions to grow its business locally, so both companies agreed to work together through the acquisition, MaxAB co-founder and CEO Belal El Megharbel told TechCrunch.

MaxAB: A refresher. The retail-tech startup, founded by Belal El Megharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim in 2018, connects informal food and grocery retailers with suppliers through an Android app. It provides retailers in underserved areas access to a variety of products, the ability to order stock online, a rapid delivery service, and access to credit. Brands using the platform have access to various tools including real-time demand monitoring, helping them make informed decisions about their purchasing.

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