Cairo-based B2B ecommerce marketplace Capiter has raised $33 million in a Series A round co-led by Quota Capital and MSA Captial, it announced in a statement on Monday. The deal was also joined by Saudi-based FMCG and retailer conglomerate Savola, Shorooq Partners, Foundation Ventures, Accion Venture Lab, and Derayah Ventures.
Launched in July 2020, Capiter is led by Mahmoud Nouh who had previously co-founded Egyptian mobility startup Swvl, which has recently announced a $1.5 billion SPAC deal to go public. He remained Swvl’s COO until October 2019. After leaving Swvl, Mahmoud founded Capiter with his brother Ahmed to enable small retailers in Egypt to order inventory for their stores and access financing solutions online. As Capiter noted in a statement, its platform also helps brands and manufacturers gain insights into the markets they serve, enabling them to access real data to refine their distribution strategies and increase efficiencies.
Over 50,000 retailers have used Capiter’s platform to order inventory for their mom-and-pop stores, restaurants, cafes, electronic shops, hotels, and even catering services, to date. Its app features more than 6,000 SKUs from 1,000 different sellers. The startup also enables retailers to access working capital through its app by partnering with local banks.
Mahmoud Nouh, co-founder and CEO of Capiter, commenting on the investment, said, “As a homegrown startup, we are proud to have built such a sophisticated solution in such a short amount of time. Our entire application can be easily customized to each buyer’s needs, providing profitable insights into locations, walk-in rates, best product types, sales volume, and more.”
“All of this adds up to a machine learning model that can actually help the merchant know which inventory items to purchase next. Combined with our value in providing merchants with access to financing through our local bank partnerships, we’ve created an economy-changing solution,” he added.
With the latest funds, the Egyptian startup is now eyeing expansion all across Egypt and some other markets of the Middle East & North Africa. Its co-founder and COO Ahmed Nouh said, “We’re well-placed to scale geographically to enable more retailers across the region to use Capiter’s services while also expanding into new verticals like agriculture and pharmaceutical offerings.”
Monica Brand Engel, co-founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital, said, “Capiter’s embedded finance model, combined with its expertise and strong user engagement, can have a dramatic impact on the financial lives of SMEs, helping them optimize their income which helps communities to thrive. Quona’s investment in Capiter builds on our existing B2B e-commerce portfolio and growing presence in MENA. We look forward to helping Capiter on its journey to revolutionize the retail landscape in the region and provide a model for peers globally while increasing services for the underbanked.”
It is Quona Capital’s first investment in Egypt.
Ben Harburg, Partner at China’s MSA Capital, said, “SME supply chain inefficiencies are massive throughout the Middle East. We believe the key blocker is lack of working capital in the system. Capiter has built an asset-light way to aggregate retailers and suppliers and facilitate credit into the system, through a comprehensive multi-product offering such as commerce, credit financing, digital payments, bookkeeping and inventory management for SMEs, leveraging on the ecosystem built by the local banks and financial institutions.”