Cairo-based dark store grocery delivery startup Appetito has raised US$2 million in a pre-Series A funding round as it plans to rapidly scale.
Founded in March 2020 by Shehab Mokhtar, Appetito is a grocery delivery platform that sources products from manufacturers, stores them in its warehouses, and ships them to customers via mini fulfillment centres. Customers can order from its website, mobile app or social media accounts.
Appetito’s US$2 million pre-Series A round was led by Jedar Capital, a US-based early-stage VC focusing on MENA and Emerging Asia, with additional participation from Golden Palm Investments, DFS Lab and a group of prominent angel investors and family offices.
The company, which secured US$450,000 in seed investment in April, currently operates seven dark stores in Cairo, a number it plans to increase to 150 by 2024.
“The grocery retail market size in Egypt is valued at US$60 billion. The fact that two per cent of it is currently online, creates a massive opportunity for growth betting on the younger generations as 50 per cent of the Egyptian population are below the age of 25 years,” Appetito founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Shehab Mokhtar said.
Mokhtar told Disrupt Africa in May the startup also had designs on pan-African expansion.
Sherif Nessim, general partner at Jedar Capital, which also invested in Appetito’s seed round, said he had been impressed by how the startup had built an “A-plus” team and created a great company culture, resulting in more than 10X growth in number of orders and revenue.
“Quick commerce and fast grocery delivery business models have been gaining ground regionally and globally, and I look forward to Appetito’s next phase as they expand to cover more areas in Egypt and start planning for regional growth,” he said.