Chari, a Moroccan e-commerce and retail start-up, paid $22 million to acquire Axa Credit, Axa Assurance Maroc’s credit arm.
Morocco’s banking, insurance, and antitrust regulators must approve the deal before it can go through.
Chari was founded by Sophia Alj, Ismael and Sophia Belkhayat. It connects mom and pop shops to FMCGs and allows them order products within 24 hours.
The business is currently operating in Tunisia and Morocco, but plans to expand its operations to other Francophone African countries over the next few years.
Axa Assurance Maroc will sell Axa Credit, its loan business. Axa Assurance Maroc intends to focus exclusively on providing insurance coverage.
Belkhayat indicated in the acquisition agreement that the company will use its venture debt funds, seed money and negative working capital to complete the transaction.
In Belkhayat’s view, Chari’s acquisition of Axa Credit will give it the credit license it needs to expand its loan offerings to more clients. He stated that the goal is to switch from closed-loop to open-loop lending.
As the general manager of Axa Morocco, Meryem Chami remarked: “We are delighted to announce a cross-selling collaboration between Axa Insurance Morocco and Chari.” Through this agreement, Axa Insurance will be in a better position to help the Moroccan economy become more inclusive while also expanding its market share.
Because its values align with those of the France-based bank’s lending arm to help foster financial inclusion in the country, Chari beat out many other bidders for the acquisition of Axa Credit.