#Africa Egyptian B2B e-commerce marketplace MaxAB raises $6.2 seed round

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Egyptian B2B e-commerce marketplace MaxAB has secured seed funding of US$6.2 million to expand across the country and the rest of North Africa.

Founded in November 2018 Egyptian and Libyan entrepreneurs Belal El-Megharbel and Mohamed Ben Halim, MaxAB is a B2B e-commerce marketplace that connects food and grocery retailers to suppliers in Egypt’s most under-served geographies via an easy-to-use app.

It has built a 270-strong MaxAB team and a stock list of over 600 products, and already has over 9,000 activated retailers on its platform. Brands using MaxAB have access to real-time demand monitoring and business intelligence tools, which improve end-to-end supply chain control, and better forecasting, while retailers have access to a wide variety of products, the convenience of ordering stock online, and access to credit facilities.

The US$6.2 million funding round was co-led by Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures, and Endure Capital, with participation from 500 Startups, Outlierz Ventures and other local investors. MaxAB will use it to reach 50 per cent of Egypt’s population within the next two years before expanding across different North African markets.

“Nobody has addressed the underserved retailers before; retailers are faced with a limited assortment of products, the hassle of dealing with multiple wholesalers and restricted access to credit facilities. At the other end of the supply chain, the FMCGs have limited visibility on market trends, demand patterns and retailers’ business needs – leading to losing potential revenue opportunities,” said Belal El-Megharbel, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) at MaxAB.

“We are using data and analytics to understand purchasing and retail behaviours, as well as make the end-to-end process of brands seamless and convenient. This will enable FMCGs to make informed decisions about their purchasing, which will ultimately have a positive effect on their bottom line and catalyse one of the biggest markets in Egypt. This investment round will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and develop new products and services throughout North Africa using the first of its kind B2B e-commerce platform.”

Yousef Hammad, managing partner at Beco Capital, said his firm was delighted to invest in a “team of warriors, battling one of the biggest inefficiencies on the country’s balance sheets”. 

“By leveraging technology, MaxAB is redefining the grocery supply chain in Egypt to fit the requirements of the micro retailers who make up 90 per cent of the grocery market. The metrics they have recorded in such a short period are impressive, and we expect to continue to see double-digit growth as they scale,” he said.

Peter Orth, co-founder and managing partner at 4DX Ventures, said his firm had also been consistently impressed with how the MaxAB team had achieved significant traction in a very short period of time. 

“We believe that their B2B e-commerce model is the right way to serve this significant market, and we’re really excited to partner with the team to drive the next phase of growth,” he said.

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