The Cairo-based B2B e-commerce platform, MaxAB, has announced that it has secured $40m in its first funding round.
The funding round was led by the RMBV Fund, an impact investor focused on North Africa, MaxAB announced in a statement on Monday.
The deal also included the participation of: the International Finance Corporation (IFC); Floish Ventures; Crystal Stream Capital; Rise Capital; Endeavor Catalyst; and existing MaxAB investors, Beco Capital, and 4DX Ventures.
It brings MaxAB’s total investment to date to over $45m, making it one of the best funded startups in Egypt. The company had previously raised $6.2m in an initial round in September 2019.
Founded in 2018 by Bilal El Magharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim, MaxAB helps small retailers in Egypt to access stock for their stores using its mobile application.
MaxAB makes buying easy for retailers by enabling them to order everything from a single supplier, in this case MaxAB, offering transparent pricing and 24 hour delivery.
Usually, a traditional retailer has to deal with multiple suppliers to order goods for their stores. In a statement, the company said that the startup, since its launch, has helped more than 55,000 retailers in Egypt, fulfilled more than 1 million orders, and created 1,600 direct jobs in the process.
The startup plans to use the latest $40m of funding to expand first in every major city in Egypt by the end of the year, and then in some new markets across the region.
In a statement, MaxAB said that the funds will also be used to expand recently launched sectors including new supply chain and embedded finance solutions.
“Three years ago we embarked on an ambitious mission to create a more cohesive, transparent and efficient food and grocery supply chain in Egypt,” said El-Maghrebel.
“This additional capital will allow us to continue to give retailers the economies of scale that our platform offers while serving many new clients,” he added, “Our support by a diverse group of well-known and experienced investors will enable us to rapidly expand our operations across the MENA region and developing markets.”
MaxAB was the first player in Egypt to launch a B2B e-commerce platform that serves the country’s traditional retailers. It is now facing competition from various startups, including Fatura and Capiter among others, that were launched in the last couple of years.
Ahmed Badr El-Din, Managing Partner of RMBV, said, “The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the unique structure of the Egyptian economy, with hundreds of thousands of shopkeepers and small businesses becoming the lifeblood of our country in a time of crisis.”
“We are pleased to support entrepreneurs with a vision, who have built transformative businesses with impressive growth that is a catalyst for financial inclusion and job creation,” he added, “We look forward to supporting MaxAB in its next phase of development as it continues to drive growth and innovation.”
Ameya Upadhyay, Partner at Flourish Ventures, said, “MaxAB is set to play a central role in the financial lives of retailers, as it directly boosts retailer profits by reducing the hassle and cost of purchasing inventory.”
He added that, with fintech products built into the core offering, customers can easily buy more goods and pay for them smoothly.
“With its founding team of seasoned operators who have scaled world-class projects before, MaxAB is a pioneer in the global trend of Embedded Finance,” Upadhyay said.
He noted that his company is proud to support MaxAB as the first investment in Egypt, and is excited for the next step in their journey.