EGYPT – Maxab, a Cairo-based B2B ecommerce platform, has announced that it has raised US$40 million in a Series A round led by RMBV, a North African-focused impact investor.

IFC, Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, Endeavour Catalyst, and Maxab’s previous investors Beco Capital and 4DX Ventures all participated in the purchase.

The startup intends to use the fresh funding to grow across Egypt’s major cities by the end of the year, followed by other markets in the region. According to the Egyptian firm, the funds will be utilized to scale recently introduced verticals such as new supply chain and embedded financial solutions.

“Three years ago, we embarked on an ambitious mission to create a more cohesive, transparent and efficient food and grocery supply chain in Egypt,” Belal El-Megharbel, co-founder and CEO of Maxab, said.

“This additional capital will allow us to continue to give retailers the economies of scale our platform offers while serving many more new customers. Being backed by a diverse group of renowned and experienced investors will enable us to rapidly scale our operations across the MENA region and developing markets.”

Maxab’s total investment to date is approximately US$45 million, making it one of Egypt’s most well-funded businesses. In September of this year, it raised US$6.2 million in a seed round.

“Being backed by a diverse group of renowned and experienced investors will enable us to rapidly scale our operations across the MENA region and developing markets.”

Belal El-Megharbel – Co-founder and CEO of Maxab

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the unique structure of Egypt’s economy, with hundreds of thousands of shopkeepers and small businesses becoming the lifeline of our country at the time of crisis,” Ahmed Badreldin, Managing Partner at RMBV said.

“We are delighted to be backing visionary entrepreneurs that have created a transformative business with impressive growth that is a catalyst for financial inclusion and job creation. We look forward to supporting MaxAB in its next phase of development as they continue delivering on growth and innovation.”

Maxab was the first company to develop a B2B ecommerce platform in Egypt, serving traditional retailers, but it now faces competition from a number of startups, including Fatura, Capiter, and a few others, who have all launched in the previous two years.

“MaxAB is set to play a central role in retailers’ financial lives — it directly boosts retailers’ profits by reducing the hassle and the cost of buying inventory and, with embedded fintech products in its core offering, customers can easily buy more goods and pay for them seamlessly,” Ameya Upadhyay, Venture Partner at Flourish Ventures, said.

“With its founding team of seasoned operators who have scaled world-class ventures before, MaxAB is pioneering the global trend towards Embedded Finance. We are proud to back MaxAB as our first investment in Egypt and eager to see the next step in their journey.”

Maxar is a mobile app that helps small merchants (mom-and-pop stores) in Egypt obtain inventory for their stores. It was founded in 2018 by Belal El-Megharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim.

The company simplifies store procurement by allowing them to order everything from a single supplier (Maxab), with clear pricing and 24-hour delivery. When it comes to ordering product for its locations, a typical retailer usually has to deal with many suppliers.

According to a release, the business has aided over 55,000 shops in Egypt, processing over 1 million orders and creating 1,600 direct employment in the process.

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