EGYPT – Appetito, a Cairo-based grocery delivery startup has raised US$450,000 in seed funding to support its expansion and growth plans in Egypt and beyond.

The round of funding was led by Ahmed Al Alola, an early-stage investor alongside Afropreneurs Fund and MENA’s Jedar Capital.

Founded in March 2020, Appetito operates through a “dark stores model”, where products are sourced from manufacturers, stored in mini fulfilment centres then delivered to household customers.

The company started with a wide range of private label products serving all areas of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria with next-day and pre-scheduled deliveries, and has recently expanded its product portfolio to include more than 1,000 SKUs from well-known consumer brands, available to customers in less than 60 minutes in selected areas.

“Observing the radical change in consumer’s behaviour post-COVID-19, the grocery delivery market is expanding rapidly in the region.”

Ahmed Al Alola – Early-stage investor

“We’re proud of what we have achieved in just a few months from our launch. We’re privileged to have such prominent investors backing us.

“With their support and the team we’re building, I’m confident we will be in a leading position in the global race of grocery delivery,” Appetito Founder and CEO Shehab Mokhtar said.

Appetito’s model focuses on dark stores rather than aggregating from grocery retail stores is expected to add value and differentiation in the Egyptian market and play a pivotal role in terms of operational efficiency and gross margin contribution.

Ahmed Al Alola mentioned, “Observing the radical change in consumer’s behaviour post-COVID-19, the grocery delivery market is expanding rapidly in the region. I believe Appetito – with its stellar team – is well positioned to lead that segment and capture the market by delivering superior experience compared to what is currently available in most of the African space.”

On his part, Idris Bello, Managing Partner, Afropreneurs Fund said, “Our investment into Appetito’s seed round follows on our proven thesis of investing in strong founders with unique local insights and a bias towards execution. We are excited by what Shehab and his team have achieved so far, and we are very bullish on the Egyptian early-stage ecosystem.”

Sherif Nessim, Founder and Managing Director of Jedar Capital also reiterated saying, “We are excited to be part of Appetito’s journey in Egypt and MENA region. We have been watching Appetito’s execution and the team’s growth-focused approach with very limited resources early on, this was a clear message to us on how resilient and focused they are.”

Appetito is best suited for growth with the digital transformation happening in Egypt where online commerce growth is skyrocketing and saw a huge leap with covid, more and more customers now are adopting online grocery shopping as their standard now.

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