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Moroccan retail-tech start-up WafR has clinched a $120 000 funding round from First Circle Capital. WafR allows brands to broadcast smart promotions to grocers to increase their market share.
Following the new investment, the company is now valued at $10.120 million. In a funding round last June, First Circle Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in the next generation of fintech start-ups in Africa, has also injected capital into WafR.
First Circle Capital co-founder and managing partner Selma Ribica says, “At First Circle we invest in founders driving digitisation and financial inclusion for the African context, and Wafr in Morocco is a leapfrogging a solution for the retail sector. Morocco is the sixtth largest economy in Africa, with the informal economy accounting for 30% of total GDP.”
The retail sector in which Wafr is operating, is dominated by semi-formal players and cash payments, adds Ribica.
“It is estimated that only 20% of food sales currently take place in formal retail outlets. The Moroccan retail sector is estimated to account for $13 billion per annum, so focusing on the informal segment of this exposes a business to a market value of ~$10 billion per annum.”
Wafr is the first-mover in launching the unique B2B2C model to digitise manufacturer-retailer-consumer relationships in the small retail segment, says Ribica.
“It enables brands to identify customers and increase loyalty for FMCG brands through unique loyalty cash-backs, finding a way to make the incentive structure work for all the stakeholders: FMCGs, small merchants and customers.
“Having witnessed the superior execution of this complex model in the market, triple digit MoM growth in revenues and the razor-sharp focus of the founding team, we decided to double down our investment into Wafr. We look forward to their scaling in Morocco and the expansion in the rest of Francophone Africa.”
The latest investment will enable WafR to expand its network of grocers and reach 50 000 active partner grocers within six months, says WafR co-founder Ismail Bargach. “This new round of financing reflects the ambition of the entire WafR team, which is united around a single objective: to provide the best possible support to retailers and FMCG brands.”