Capiter, a Cairo-based B2B e-commerce startup that brings together manufacturers, brands, wholesalers and retailers on one platform with access to financial services, said Monday it has raised $33 million.
This is the arguably the second-largest Series A round ever in the continent, next only to MaxAB, which scooped $42 million in the same domain.
The funding round is co-led by Quona Capital and MSA Capital alongside additional investors Savola, Shorooq Partners, Foundation Ventures, Accion Venture Lab and Derayah Ventures.
Capiter provides small-to-medium enterprise (SME) businesses with a single platform that allows retailers to order a range of inventory, obtain delivery and access financing. Using machine learning, Capiter also helps brands and manufacturers to gain insights into the markets they serve, enabling them to access real data to refine their distribution strategies and increase efficiencies.
The venture was launched last year by serial entrepreneurs Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Nouh. Mahmoud was a co-founder and a former COO of Egyptian ride-hailing unicorn Swvl. Ahmed has a background as an entrepreneur in the shipping and logistics space.
Mahmoud Nouh, Capiter’s co-founder and CEO, said, “Our entire application can be easily customised 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.”
Ahmed Nouh, the company’s COO, added, “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.”
For Quona Capital, this is the first investment in Egypt.
“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 optimise their income which helps communities to thrive,” said Monica Brand Engel, co-founder and managing partner at Quona Capital.
Ben Harburg, partner at MSA Capital, a global VC that has invested in fintechs like Nubank and Klarna, noted that inefficiencies in SME supply chain are massive throughout the Middle East and the key blocker is the 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,” he said.