Cairo-based startup, Cartona, has raised a $4.5m pre-Series A funding round.
The one-year-old startup seeks to use the fund to connect retailers and manufacturers via an application, improve its technology, and expand its team and operations to other parts of Egypt.
Cartona made the announcement today, confirming that the investment round was led by Dubai-based global venture capital firm, Global Ventures, while T5 Capital, Kepple Africa (Pan-African firm), and angel investors participated.
This is coming a week after fellow-year-old startup, Capiter, raised a $33m Series A funding round to digitize the conventional offline retail market in Egypt and be part of the budding retail and e-commerce ecosystem.
Speaking on the move and how the company sells information to retailers and suppliers, Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah, Co-Founder, Cartona, said:
“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.”
Cartona was founded in August 2020 with a focus on solving the operational and supply-chain challenges of actors in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector by making products from sellers (FCMGs) available to buyers (retailers) on a single platform.
Part of the issues it seeks to solve for buyers and sellers include limited access to suppliers, transparency in market prices, logistics, lack of data to make informed decisions, etc.
Because the Cartona platform works as an asset-light marketplace, grocery retailers can get orders from a carefully selected network of sellers so that it can provide visibility through clarity on delivery times and real-time price comparisons.
It also allows suppliers and FMCGs to use data and analytics to optimize their go-to market execution, while also providing access to credit and fixed finance to retailers and suppliers.
Cartona has more than 1,000 wholesalers and distributors combined with 100 FMCG companies in its network that offer consumers over 10,000 products, including fresh, dry, and frozen food.
It has more than 30,000 merchants on its platform, with more than 400,000 processed orders and an annualized gross merchandise value of $64 million (EGP 1 billion).
Cartona generates income through commission on orders made, providing market insights on buyer behavior, price competition and market share, and charges on running adverts for suppliers to merchants.
Cartona’s long-term plan suggests the inclusion of horizontal and vertical product expansion into electronics, pharmaceuticals and fashion.
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