Egyptian startup Cartona, a B2B platform connecting retailers to manufacturers and wholesalers, has closed a US$4.5 million Pre-Series A funding round to help it invest in new technology, launch new products and expand across the country.
Founded in August 2020, Cartona is a B2B e-commerce marketplace focusing on solving supply chain and operational challenges for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry by digitising the traditional, predominantly offline, trade market.
The startup offers an asset-light marketplace that enables grocery retailers to order their store needs digitally from a curated network of sellers. Since inception, Cartona has acquired over 30,000 users in Cairo and Alexandria, processing over 400,000 delivered orders with an annualised gross merchandise value of EGP1 billion (US$63.5 million). It works with 100 FMCG companies, 1,000 distributors and wholesalers, offering consumers over 10,000 products listed on its platform including dry, fresh and frozen food.
Further growth is now planned after Cartona banked US$4.5 million in a pre-Series A round of funding led by Global Ventures, a Dubai-based, international venture capital firm, with participation from Kepple Africa Ventures, T5 Ventures and a group of angel investors.
Proceeds will be used to invest in deepening the capabilities of the technology to further enhance the user experience and introduce embedded finance within the product and order cycle. Cartona also plans to expand its operations across Egypt.
“Small and medium retailers deserve the opportunity to operate their businesses efficiently while delivering growth simultaneously. To do so, they need access to credit, inventory and payment services. We are dedicated to empowering the B2B ecosystem through technology and supply chain innovation. Cartona is committed to building a strong network of digitally connected retailers that have better control over their businesses through running a seamless daily operation,” said Mahmoud Talaat, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Cartona.
Basil Moftah, general partner at Global Ventures, said he was excited to lead the investment round.
“The trade market is one of the most sophisticated, yet characterised by multiple critical inefficiencies across the value chain. Cartona’s asset-light approach tackles those inefficiencies by optimising the trade process in unique ways, and does so with minimal capital spent. The company has already demonstrated consistently stellar growth over the past year. We are thrilled to partner with the company’s solid, highly capable and experienced founding team on their third entrepreneurial journey,” he said.