Backed by local and international capital, Cartona seeks to “turbo charge” expansion.
Cartona, an Egyptian B2B platform, has completed a USD 12 million Series A fundraise led by Silicon Badia with the participation of the SANAD Fund for MSME. Arab Bank Accelerator and Sunny Side Ventures also participated, alongside existing investors Global Ventures and Kepple Ventures.
Cartona: Digitizing trade
Cartona seeks to digitize the traditional trade market in Egypt from family-run businesses, to FMCG producers, wholesalers, and distributors. The startup aims to support the development of a cashless society, investing in embedded finance, payments, and operational integration across their target markets.
The company aims to provide retailers and suppliers with integrated solutions to increase financial inclusion and allow them to run and grow their business more efficiently, and reach end-consumers with essential products at affordable prices.
Mahmoud Talaat, CEO and co-founder of Cartona, said, “We are delighted to complete our Series A fundraise. The market context for Cartona is hugely attractive, and we are just getting started. Egypt has hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop stores that are core to our business model. We will continue empowering them via efficient and seamless solutions in their trade and financial cycle with FMCG companies and wholesalers, aligning with our mission to help people better manage and control their businesses.”
Cartona is an entirely digital company and seeks to reduce inefficiencies across the supply chain while providing financial services to an undersupplied network of sellers.
A growing market
The overall size of the Egyptian retail market size is $120 billion, with the Food & Beverages market worth $70 billion, according to the company. There are over 400,000 shops and thousands of international and local brands are present in Egypt, with the sector growing annually by 8%.
Namek T. Zu’bi, Founding Managing Partner at Silicon Badia, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Cartona team to help them continue to disrupt the $120Bn Egyptian retail market through its B2B technology platform and embedded financial service offerings. The market is hungry for these types of solutions and we believe Cartona’s asset-light approach will allow them to serve as many marketplace participants as possible in a highly efficient manner.”
The funds will be used to turbo-charge Cartona’s expansion across Egypt, to allow it to cover all governorates, grow its product, technology, and services, and explore new verticals beyond FMCG. Dr Daniela Beckmann, SANAD Board Chairperson, said, “We are incredibly proud of this transaction as it is the first investment of SANAD ESF II in Egypt, continuing the success of ESF I investments made in the country. By providing both financing and software tailored to the market, Cartona’s digital platform is supporting innovative MSME retailers across Egypt, which will greatly contribute to SANAD’s mission of pursuing growth and employment creation across the region.”
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