Egyptian startup Talabeyah digitizing mom and pop stores raises US$1.1m to boost growth

EGYPT – Egypt-based startup Talabeyah, running a food and grocery B2B e-commerce and distribution platform, has raised US$1.1 million in pre-seed funding round from a group of strategic angel investors, to help boost its strong early growth.

Founded by Karim Nassef, Amr Abbas, Khaled Hussein and Adel Hodroj in July 2020, Talabeyah provides a tailored simple solution for retailers, allowing them to order inventory in one click.

Its end-to-end model also provides FMCG suppliers with bigger reach to retailers, direct marketing communication channels, and real-time data to enable them for better planning.

By allowing small retailers in Egypt to use its digital platform to buy and manage their inventory, the company hopes to alleviate the pain points along the supply chain by leveraging on technology.

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“This is a highly fragmented market with multiple layers that leads to high inefficiencies and low service levels. Our aim is to disrupt and digitise this informal market by leveraging technology and an innovative supply chain.

“We are providing a tailored simple solution to a complex problem; making our clients one click away from their inventory with guaranteed next-day delivery, reliable customer service and a high service level, and giving the retailers the time to focus on growing their business and running their operations,” Co-founder and CEO of Talabeyah, Karim Nassef said.

The funding round will help scale the startup’s operations, further build the technology, and leverage the use of AI and machine learning algorithms, utilising the collected data to enhance the customer experience and drive efficiencies through the value chain.

“We believe there is still a lot of value and innovation to be added to the different layers of this market to create a better ecosystem, and we are on a mission to do that,” Talabeyah’s CFO, Hamed Barakat said.

Investors seem to have been roped into this round due to Talabeyah’s team extensive experience in the FMCG industry.

With an initial investment of only US$180,000, the firm was able to build a capital-intensive business to a gross merchandise value of US$6 million, earning annualized revenue of 66 times the amount invested, and has now banked another US$1.1 million as it looks to grow faster.

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Digitization of the mom-and-pop operations has been gaining traction in the North African country with players such as Cartona recently raising US$4.5 million in a Pre-Series A funding round.

This came weeks after MaxAB confirmed an additional US$15 million investment from existing investors, as it closes its Series A, which brought the total capital raised by the ecommerce leader to more than US$60 milion.

Both platforms connect food and grocery retailers to suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by digitizing the traditional, predominantly offline, trade market

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