MaxAB, an e-commerce and distribution platform for food and grocery items, has announced the close of a $40 million pre-series B equity round to finance its expansion into the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region. New investors in this round include Silver Lake, British International Investment and DisruptAD, along with existing investors Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures and Africa Platform Capital.
MaxAB is working to change the food and grocery supply chain by connecting suppliers with traditional retailers who are underserved, and by offering a variety of embedded finance solutions. This support of the country’s economic development has been successful since launching in 2018, with 150,000 unique traditional retailer orders being placed and 2.5 million orders delivered (with a high success rate). In 2021, MaxAB started to roll out its fintech solutions across its merchant base with the goal of digitizing the flow of cash. MaxAB is now the market leader in its industry, with a presence in all major cities in Egypt and Casablanca, Morocco. The company plans to expand its geographic coverage to include the entire country of Morocco by 2023, and to also enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The new capital will be used by MaxAB to finance further growth in the e-commerce arm of its business, to expand its technology and product teams, and to offer a wider range of embedded finance solutions on a larger scale.
Belal El-Megharbel, CEO and Co-Founder at MaxAB, said, ‘Within just four years of operations, we have been able to re-engineer the informal food and grocery market in Egypt and Morocco. We are thrilled to have gained the recognition and financial backing of world-class investors, adding to the reception and support we receive from the retailers and suppliers we serve. Going by the quality of investors who are partnering with us, we are excited about venturing into the next stage of the MaxAB journey, which is further consolidation of the informal grocery sector, heavy focus and investments in Fintech and replicating our success in new markets to grow beyond borders’.
Amer Al Ameri, Head of Venture Capital and Technology investments at ADQ, added: ‘MaxAB are building technology-driven products and services that solve for challenges around better integrated, efficient, reliable grocery supply chains for the MENAP region. In digitizing the vastly traditional, multi-layered and fragmented food and grocery sector supply chain, they have broken the mould and presented a domino effect of opportunities, one of which is the launch of the fintech vertical. We are happy to be embarking on this journey with MaxAB and are looking forward to providing strategic guidance for continued growth and impact.’
In Egypt, small traditional retailers serve as the backbone of the grocery industry with a similar dynamic existing in many other markets across the MENAP region. Having gained unprecedented success in Egypt and Morocco, MaxAB has established a proven playbook of experiences, technology, data and relationships that can be leveraged for launch into new geographies and is looking to replicate the same success across the region. MaxAB estimates that there are more than 750,000 mom-and-pop businesses requiring its services in Egypt and Morocco alone while Saudi Arabia is particularly attractive due to the government’s drive to digitise the informal sector and the FMCG’s willingness to explore new business models.
Silver Lake is making the investment in connection with its Long Term Capital strategy, which was established in 2020.