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The Egypt-based E-commerce startup and Dark store Appetito has successfully raised $2M in its latest funding round. The Pre-Seires A round was led by Jedar Capital, a US-based early-stage VC focusing on MENA and Emerging Venture Markets in Asia, with additional participation from Golden Palm investments, DFS Lab, and a group of prominent angel investors and family offices some of which had previously invested in similar grocery startups.
Founded in March 2020, Appetito operates through a dark stores model, where products are sourced from manufacturers, stored in mini fulfillment centers then delivered to household customers. The startup started with a wide range of private label products serving all areas of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria with next day and pre-scheduled deliveries.
Despite a slower H1’2021 and a 10-deal drop in deals since full-year 2020, the E-commerce industry in MENA picked up by Q3 2021, raising $71M more than total capital deployed in full year 2020. As recorded in our Q3 2021 EVM E-commerce Venture Investment Report, Egypt climbed a rank to become the most active E-commerce geography by number of deals in Q3 2021, and 2 ranks to become the most-funded by volume of capital deployed. It was one deal by E-commerce startup MaxAB that raised 60% of that capital by Q3 2021, Egypt-based E-commerce startups like Homzmart, GoodsMart, Capiter, and Taager raised major rounds in 2021.
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Appetito expanded its product portfolio to include more than 1000 SKUs from well-known consumer brands and entered the hyper convenience race by offering its customers less than 60-minute delivery in selected areas. The Egypt-based team currently operates 7 dark stores in Cairo and plans to expand to 150 stores by 2024, which is now plausible with the availability of stellar scaling capital. Commenting on the potential of this venture Founder and CEO Shehab Mokhtar highlighted“The grocery retail market size in Egypt is valued at $60 Billion. The fact that 2% of it is currently online, creates a massive opportunity for growth betting on the younger generations as 50% of the Egyptian population are below the age of 25 years.”
The Egypt-based team will channel its newly acquired funds to further develop its platform and market offering and scale its operations to reach untapped geographic and demographic markets. In light of this platform boosting and market validating investment, initial investors Jedar Capital’s General Parnter Sherif Nessim concluded “I am happy Jedar Capital is leading the current round after participating in Appetito's previous Seed round. In the past 12 months, I was amazed by how Shehab managed to build an A-plus team and created a great company culture that pushed Appetito the past 12 months to grow significantly more than 10X in terms of number of orders and revenue. Quick commerce/fast grocery delivery business model has been gaining grounds regionally and globally and I look forward for Appetito's next phase as they expand to cover more areas in Egypt and start planning for regional growth.”
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