Cartona, an Egyptian B2B eCommerce platform, has secured a $12 million Series A investment led by Silicon Badia, together with the active participation of the SANAD Fund for MSME.

Arab Bank Accelerator and Sunny Side Ventures also participated, alongside existing investors – Global Ventures and Kepple Ventures – who joined Cartona’s journey last year, doubled down in this round. The latest series A investment round comes less than a year after Cartona raised $4.5 million in a pre-series A round led by Global Ventures.

The investment will be used to accelerate Cartona’s expansion across Egypt – to cover all governorates, grow its product, technology, and services – and explore new verticals beyond FMCG.

Founded in 2019 by Mahmoud Abdelfattah, Mahmoud Talaat and Rafik Zaher, Cartona embraces a cashless society vision, investing in embedded finance, payments, and operational integration with all stakeholders. This provides retailers and suppliers with an integrated solution boosting financial inclusion enabling them to run and grow their business more efficiently, and reach end-consumers with essential products at affordable prices.

Cartona’s model is asset-light, not owning a single product or warehouse, or vehicle. This allows Cartona to execute its strategy of digitizing Egypt’s traditional, largely offline trade market by eliminating inefficiencies across the supply chain – in a very capital-efficient way – while enabling seamless financial services’ solutions to an underserved network of hundreds of thousands of shops.

Mahmoud Talaat, CEO, and co-founder of Cartona, commented: “We are delighted to complete our Series A fundraise. 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 that are core to our business model. We will continue empowering them via efficient and seamless solutions in their trade and financial cycle with FMCG companies and wholesalers, aligning with our mission to help people better manage and control their businesses.”

Cartona is growing rapidly and sustainably. It has scaled over a short period of time to currently process around 1 million transactions annually, with ample room to grow. Cartona has 60,000 users, and works with 200 FMCG companies – including blue-chip names Henkel, Unilever, Bel, Mondelez; and 1,500 distributors and wholesalers.

The Egyptian market opportunity for Cartona is compelling. The overall retail market size is $120 billion, with the Food & Beverages market worth $70 billion. There are over 400,000 shops and thousands of international and local brands across Egypt, with the sector growing annually by 8%.

Namek T. Zu’bi, Founding Managing Partner at Silicon Badia, said: “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. 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.”

Dr. Daniela Beckmann, SANAD Board Chairperson commented: “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. By providing both financing and software tailored to the market, Cartona’s digital platform is supporting innovative MSME retailers across Egypt, which will greatly contribute to SANAD’s mission of pursuing growth and employment creation across the region.

Musa Suleiman
Follow me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.