Home » Founded by Ismael Belkhayat, Moroccan e-commerce startup Chari acquires Diago of Ivory Coast

Founded by Ismael Belkhayat, Moroccan e-commerce startup Chari acquires Diago of Ivory Coast

by Mfonobong Nsehe

Chari, a Morocco-based B2B e-commerce and fintech startup founded by Ismael Belkhayat and his wife Sophia Alj, has acquired Diago, an Ivorian app that connects neighborhood shops to FMCG producers and importers.

Founded in 2021 by Amidou Diarra and Ali Ouattara, two former managers at Glovo and PepsiCo, Diago operates exclusively in Abidjan. Ali and Amidou will remain CEO and COO, respectively, and will oversee local business growth before expanding footprint to other Sub-Saharan countries.

“Diago’s entire team will receive Chari’s full support functions. Chari’s Casablanca back office will help Diago team in setting up operations, IT tools and customer service,” Cyrille Jacques, vice president of Chari in charge of leading international expansion, said.

Chari is an e-commerce platform for grocery stores in Francophone Africa. It allows shop owners to order anything that they sell in their shops and to get it delivered the next day. 

Chari partners with FMCG multinationals and local manufacturers to distribute their goods to mom and pop shops in less than 24 hours. It also provides payment facilities and financial services through its recent acquisition of Karny.ma.

After a successful proof of concept in Morocco, Chari aspires to become the leader of this business model in Francophone Africa.

“The secret of a successful expansion is to build a local team that masters local market dynamics,” Belkhayat said. “The real challenge is to convince local entrepreneurs to join forces with Chari to grow faster. We continue to surround ourselves with young and ambitious entrepreneurs from Francophone Africa to build together a pan-African giant of FMCG and financial services distribution.”

Last October, Chari raised a $5-million seed round co-led by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital and P1 Ventures. The company was founded in early 2020. They were formerly strategy consultants with McKinsey and BCG.

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