MOROCCO – Moroccan retail-tech startup WafR, which helps retail brands to deliver promotions to grocers, has raised a further US$120,000 in funding as it continues structuring its network of grocers.

Founded in 2021, WafR is an app that enables retail brands to broadcast and deliver smart promotions to grocers in order to increase their market share in the traditional channel.

Earlier this year the startup had closed a seed round worth US$1.075 million, and it has now banked an extra US$120,000 from First Circle Capital, a previous investor, reports Disrupt Africa.

The new investment values the startup at US$10.12 million, and will enable WafR to expand its network of grocers and reach 50,000 active partner grocers within six months.

“This new round of financing reflects the ambition of the entire WafR team, which is united around a single objective: to provide the best possible support to retailers and FMCG brands,” said Ismail Bargach, co-founder of WafR.

The startup, which graduated from the AUC Venture Lab’s acceleration programme in 2021, also connects customers through their app with nearby grocery retailers, enabling them to order from multiple retailers in a single order.

“WafR is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of retail and fintech in Morocco and continues to innovate by providing retail brands with an ever-growing network of partner grocers,” said Selma Ribica, co-founder and managing partner at First Circle Capital.

“Moreover, these small retailers are currently largely dominated by cash payments. After seeing exponential growth in all of the startup’s KPIs and the founding team’s know-how, our conviction was reinforced and we decided to multiply the amount of money we had previously invested by more than 10.

“At First Circle, we are confident about the future of WafR and look forward to the next few months to see how it evolves in Morocco today and in many other countries tomorrow,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Yassir, the most valuable startup in North Africa, has announced that it will soon be launching its on-demand grocery delivery services in South Africa following its US$150m in Series B funding.

Founded in 2017 by Algerian native and Stanford PhD Noureddine Tayebi, the Yassir mobile app has quickly taken the continent by storm, expanding its footprint to six countries and 45 cities where it is used by more than eight million users.

“More than another grocery delivery service, Yassir aims to completely transform customers’ shopping experiences through offering unprecedented convenience, with targeted delivery times of just under 30 minutes.

“Our platform offers a one-stop-shop marketplace for thousands of products that are all housed and transported from dedicated sites that are exclusive to Yassir ,” says Yassir South Africa general manager Timothy Kiluba.

In addition to its popularity among households and users, Yassir’s platform and business model have been lauded by global investors, as the app was recently awarded $150m in Series B funding from well-known names such as Bond, DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures and Y Combinator.

Having raised US$193.25m in the five years since the company’s launch, it is now the most valuable startup in North Africa and one of the highest-valued companies in Africa and the Middle East, with a strong presence in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and parts of French-speaking Africa.

The super app now plans to use its funding to drive its expansion into other parts of the continent, beginning with South Africa, where the grocery delivery market is currently growing exponentially.

According to recent Statista research, the market is expected to grow to 7.3 million users by 2027 and see compound annual growth rates of 12.5% for the next five years.

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