Moroccan B2B eCommerce platform Chari has acquired Diago, a retail app based and operating in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.
As Magnitt reported Friday (June 10), the all-stock transaction will see Diago founders Amidou Diarra and Ali Ouattara remain in place as the company chief operating officer and CEO and will manage local business growth before branching out to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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“Diago’s entire team will receive Chari’s full support functions,” said Cyrille Jacques, vice president of Chari, who heads the company’s international expansion. “Chari’s Casablanca back office will help the Diago team in setting up operations, IT tools and customer service.”
Launched in 2020, Chari is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and financial services distributor that works with smaller retailers in French-speaking Africa. Diago, founded in 2021, is an app that connects neighborhood shops with FMCG importers and producers.
The Magnitt report said Chari’s goal is to replicate its success in Morocco in other French-speaking African nations. As PYMNTS noted earlier this year, the company has already expanded into Tunisia.
“The secret of a successful expansion is to build a local team that masters local market dynamics,” said Ismael Belkhayat, co-founder and CEO of Chari. “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. ”
The acquisition follows Chari’s fundraise earlier this year that put the valuation of the company at about $ 100 million.
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Last year, Chari acquired Karny.ma, a company that works with a client base of about 15,000 convenience stores to help them use smartphones to manage credit arrangements with customers.
“Karny.ma users are the right target for Chari,” Belkhayat said at the time. “We believe there can be many synergies between the two apps and we want to grow both in parallel with the end goal of starting to offer financial services to all of our customers.”