E-Commerce North Africa: 19 Venture Backed Innovators 

According to an article published by Bain, a consultancy, e-commerce in the Middle-East and North Africa region reached $8.3 billion USD and has grown 25% annually since 2015.

The report also points the e-commerce sector has taken an unconventional route to adoption. Digital adoption in the region took off in the early 2000’s thanks to the affordability of the smart phone and popularity of social media services. However e-commerce, they argue, didn’t really take off until 2017 when Amazon announced the acquisition of Souq for $580 million, and the launch of UAE-based e-commerce start-up Noon.

As we have reported previously, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped to bring the nascent e-commerce and last-mile delivery sectors into the mainstream across African markets. Our analyst’s took a look at North Africa’s venture-backed online retail sector to understand how it is growing and evolving.

19 E-Commerce Start-ups in North Africa

Start-ups founders are using the e-commerce model across a number of different industry verticals from FMCG to housing and automobile purchases.

What is interesting is how the models are being adapted to meet market specific market needs. For example online clothing marketplace La Reina, who raised a Series A from Algebra Ventures and 500 Startups, enables users to rent rather than purchase designer and high-fashion items at reduced cost.

Online housing marketplace, Sakneen, not only bring transparency to North Africa’s housing marketplace it also offers financing options to help digitise the mortgage process. You can find out more about the each start-up, and their funding rounds, on the Baobab Insights company database.

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E-Commerce: A growing Sector

Venture Backed investment in North Africa E-Commerce 2020

Total investment into North Africa’s e-commerce start-ups has reached $7.48 million USD in 2020 (year to date). Since 2015, investment into early-stage start-ups has grown 24.6% annually.

While the MENA region may well have taken an unconventional route to adoption, it is clear that this innovative space continues to attract increased investor attention

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This article was first published in November 2020.

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