Cartona closes $12 million Series B funding round

Cartona, Egyptian-based B2B platform connecting mom-and-pop stores, fast moving consumer goods producers, wholesalers and distributors, has closed a Series B funding round of $12 million, led by Silicon Badia, venture capital firm for technology entrepreneurs, and SANAD Fund, investment fund for micro, small and medium enterprises in the region.

The funding will help Cartona support its platform, technology and services, explore other verticals besides fast moving consumer goods and expand to cater to all governates in Egypt.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Cartona team to help them continue to disrupt the $120 billion Egyptian retail market through its B2B technology platform and embedded financial service offerings,” said Namek T. Zu’bi, founding managing partner of Silicon Badia.

“The market is hungry for these types of solutions and we believe Cartona’s asset-light approach will allow them to serve as many marketplace participants as possible in a highly efficient manner.”

Cartona aims to establish a ‘cashless’ society with finance and payments integrated with its stakeholders.

In addition, the platform helps partnered companies grow their business more efficiently and reach more end consumers with products at reasonable prices.

“We are incredibly proud of this transaction as it is the first investment of SANAD ESF II in Egypt, continuing the success of ESF I investments made in the country,” said Dr. Daniela Beckmann, chairperson on the board of SANAD.

“By providing both financing and a software tailored to the market, Cartona’s digital platform is supporting innovative micro, small and medium enterprise retailers across Egypt, which will greatly contribute to SANAD’s mission of pursuing growth and employment creation across the region.”

Cartona boasts an ‘asset-light’ business model, owning no products, warehouses or vehicles to remove the inefficiencies of supply chains.

The business model also helps digitise the country’s offline trade industry by implementing digital financial services to up-and-coming stores.

“We are delighted to complete our Series A fundraise,” said Mahmoud Talaat, co-founder and CEO of Cartona.

“The endorsement of new investors, and re-participation of existing investors, validates our strategy of a capital-efficient, asset light business model focused on enabling all stakeholders in the industry, boosting operational efficiency and underpinned by strong unit economics.

“The market context for Cartona is hugely attractive and we are just getting started. Egypt has hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop stores who are core to our business model.

“We will continue empowering them via efficient and seamless solutions in their trade and financial cycle with fast moving consumer goods companies and wholesalers, aligning with our mission to help people better manage and control their businesses.”

Other investors of the series funding round included Arab Bank Accelerator, Sunny Side Ventures, Global Ventures and Kepple Ventures.

Cartona processes one million transactions each year, connects 60,000 users and works with 200 fast moving consumer goods businesses, including Henkel, Unilever, Bel and Mondelez and 1,500 distributers and wholesalers.

Last year, Cartona received a pre-series A funding round of $4.5 million, with Global Ventures as the primary investor.

The country’s retail market is valued at $120 billion, with the food and beverage industry accounting for $70 billion.