EGYPT – Egyptian grocery delivery startup Appetito, has acquired Tunisian quick commerce platform Lamma, to expand its operations into Morocco and Tunisia.

Founded in March 2020 by Shehab Mokhtar, Appetito is a grocery delivery platform that sources products from manufacturers, stores them in its warehouses, and ships them to customers via mini fulfilment centres. It also allows scheduled daily or weekly deliveries.

The acquiree operates across three cities in Egypt from 11 dark stores, and is now expanding into Tunisia and Morocco, where Lamma delivers groceries, food, personal care, electronics and fashion items to users in less than 45 minutes, using a blend of dark stores and its partner network.

It was launched by Yassir El Ismaili El Idrissi, who will now join Appetito as chief expansion and growth officer.

The founders of both startups have reached an agreement to create a single entity, operating as Appetito, with the closing of the deal expected by the end of Q3 2022.

“I’m delighted to welcome unparalleled talent and like-minded entrepreneurs to our family. We believe it’s the best time to expand in Africa to solve the huge in-efficiencies in the retail supply chain,” said Appetito CEO Mokhtar.

“Having Lamma on board will put us on track to become the largest q-commerce player in the continent, transforming the life of millions of people and creating thousands of direct & indirect jobs.”

The Lamma team, its three dark stores and a distribution centre will be integrated into Appetito as both teams “explore lots of synergies.”

“We share common vision, business and operating models. But above all, we share similar values. As entrepreneurs, joining forces to create the regional champion makes perfect sense.

“From our three countries, we now have a fantastic platform to expand into new African markets,” said El Idrissi.

Africa’s fragmented retail market creates a solid business case for q-commerce models like Appetito.

Egypt, home to more than 100 million people, has a retail FMCG market size of about US$50 billion and is highly fragmented and inefficient.

The same can be said for other African countries, hence why Appetito is eyeing an expansion into these markets in the ensuing quarters.

Early investors in both companies are excited by the move with Grégoire de Padirac, Principal at Orange Ventures, an investor of Lamma stating, “The Middle East and African are fragmented markets where very few companies have managed to create regional players. We are delighted to be part of the journey!”

The merger follow’s Lamma’s acquisition of Farm Trust, a startup specializing in e-commerce products from healthy and ecological agriculture, late last year.

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