Cartona, the popular Egypt-based B2B platform connecting retailers to manufacturers and wholesalers about their successful management of raising about $4.5M in their latest Pre-Series A funding round. This particular Pre-Series funding round was led by Global Ventures. The round was also joined by Kepple Africa Ventures, T5 Ventures, and a group of key angel investors.
Cartona has been focusing on giving supply-chain solutions and providing operational challenges for the fast-moving consumer goods industry (FMCG) ever since its foundation back in August 2020 through launching its eCommerce marketplace. They’ve been helping the industry by fully digitizing the traditional and predominantly offline trade market in Egypt and that’s not all. The Company, however, provides an asset-light marketplace that lets grocery retailers order their storage needs. And all of it away from the traditional way and done digitally instead from a curated network of sellers.
It was already observed from the recent Venture Investment Dashboard from last month that the MENA-based eCommerce startups have been growing steadily this year and that’s not all. There is an 8% solid YoY increase in the number of deals that have been closed in the MENA region. Along with that, there is a 78% YoY growth in the amount of funding. And in the meantime, the eCommerce industry has become the second-most active and third-most funded industry across MENA which is over 2021 years to date.
Cartona’s main goal is to take care of inefficiencies across the region and that’s precisely how it was designed to deal with the value chain. And Cartona does all that by providing enhanced forms of visibility via real-time price comparisons along with ETAs. In the meantime, they also let FMCGs and suppliers by helping them optimize their go-to-market execution through data and analytics. The platform was co-founded by Mahmoud Talaat, the former Chief Commercial Officer of Lamar Egypt and founder of Speakol, who helped build and scale the company into a leading position with a 20% market share.
“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.
Ever since Cartona’s launch, it has managed to aggregate more than 30,000 users in Cairo and Alexandria alone and that’s not even all. It already has managed to process over 400,000 delivered orders with an annualized gross merchandise value of more than $63M. It currently 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.
Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah, Co-founder and CTO of Cartona stated “It is time to capitalize on technology beyond warehouses and trucks. Data and technology will transform traditional retail to a digitally-native one, which in return will drastically improve the supply chain efficiency.”
With the freshly raised funds, the company plans to use it for newly acquired funds to further develop its Tech Stack along with launching new products. They also plan to expand their range of business across Egypt.
Basil Moftah, General Partner at Global Ventures concluded “We are really excited to lead this investment round in Cartona. The trade market is one of the most sophisticated, yet is characterized by multiple critical inefficiencies across the value chain. Cartona’s asset-light approach tackles those inefficiencies by optimizing 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”.