Sophia Alj is the co-founder and COO of Chari, a B2B e-commerce/fintech startup in Morocco that digitizes the procurement process for traditional retail stores. She worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey for four years before deciding to co-found Chari with her husband, Ismael Belkhayat, in 2019.
Chari participated in Y Combinator’s summer 2021 batch and is valued at $100 million, with revenues expected to reach $50 million by the end of this year. The business-to-business e-commerce platform, which assists small retailers in digitizing their services, has emerged as one of North Africa’s most promising startups and is widely expected to become Morocco’s first unicorn.
Sophia was named one of the “20 Women Behind Middle Eastern Tech Brands 2022” by Forbes. She was also named a RoW100 Global Tech Changemaker.
Alj and Belkhayat intend to expand their operations into neighboring countries as well as French-speaking countries in West Africa, either organically or through mergers and acquisitions.