Potential Merger: MaxAB and Wasoko Becoming Africa’s Largest B2B E-commerce Platform

Egyptian B2B e-commerce startup MaxAB and Wasoko, a Kenyan-based e-commerce player that operates in the East African country alongside Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, are in talks to merge operations, TechCrunch has exclusively learned from multiple sources. They say talks are still ongoing and the agreement hasn’t been finalized yet.

Wasoko has been scaling down operations in recent months: it recently conducted its largest round of layoffs, which affected most of its employees in Kenya, including some of the company’s executives. Earlier in the year, it left Senegal and Ivory Coast markets and closed hubs including the one in Mombasa, Kenya, amid push for profitability.

Besides, our sources claim that while Wasoko closed a $125 million round last year, the funding was to released as it met set milestones. TechCrunch learned that the company had only received $30 million by the time merger talks, which are said to be investor-led, started Wasoko raised the Series B from big firms such as Tiger Global and Avenir at a post-money valuation of $625 million.

Like Wasoko, MaxAB, the food and grocery B2B e-commerce and distribution platform serving a network of traditional retailers across Egypt and Morocco, has raised over $100 million (including a $55 million Series A and $40 million pre-Series B last year from DisruptAD, BII and Silverlake. Sources say the company was in talks with existing investors to raise a bridge round this year.

MaxAB is the largest startup in Egypt’s and North Africa’s B2B retail and e-commerce market. It acquired YC-backed Waystocap for its Morocco expansion, and Capiter, which was supposed to pose a threat, shut down amidst conflict between its founders and investors.

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