While Nigeria and Kenya have been at the forefront of African fintech innovation, activities in Egypt are starting to take shape well. Right now, Egypt is home to a thriving ecosystem of fintech startups, and today one of its biggest players, Paymob announced that it has completed an 18.5 Series A round. millions of dollars..
In July 2020, Paymob raised $ 3.5 million as part of its first round of Series A investment. A Additional $ 15 million was raised from the same investors led by Dubai-based venture capital firm Global Ventures. Other investors include Egyptian investment fund A15 and Dutch development bank FMO.
The total raise of $ 18.5 million is the largest Series A round in Egypt to date and one of the largest rounds of action in North Africa..
“We are delighted to lead this major fintech fundraiser in the region. Paymob has a perfect combination of high-quality technology, product customers more and more can’t be without, and an exceptional management team, ”said Basil Moftah, general partner at Global Ventures, of the investment. “Their market opportunity is also huge; Egypt’s transformation into a cashless society is made possible by the unique products that Paymob has built.
Paymob Was found in 2015 by Alain El Hajj, Islam Shawky and Mostafa El Menessy. The platform helps online and offline merchants accept payments from their customers through multiple products and solutions. It offers a payment gateway that merchants can plug into their sites or mobile applications using its APIs.. For offline merchants, Paymob has a point of sale solution where they can receive card payments in store.
The company also has a payment links feature where merchants share links with their customers to receive payments that are received using mobile wallets. And according to the company, 85% of mobile wallet transactions made in Egypt is processed by its infrastructure. He also claims to be the country’s biggest payment facilitator.
Besides Egypt, Paymob is also present in Kenya, Pakistan and Palestine. CEO Shawky said the company plans to expand into more countries in sub-Saharan Africa. However, this will come after focusing on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to gain significant market share.
Regional expansion (with an imminent entry into Saudi Arabia this year) is one of Paymob’s goals following this increase. According to a statement released by the company, it will also use the investments to expand its merchant network, meet growing demand and improve its product offerings..
The pandemic has presented one of the best opportunities for fintechs around the world to achieve massive growth. For Paymob, he claims to have increased his monthly turnover more than 5 times last year. The company also recorded a total payment volume of over $ 5 billion from more than 35,000 local and international merchants such as Swvl, LG, Breadfast and Tradeline..
This growth allowed fintech to raise the second tranche of investment after closing. fair $ 3.5 million initially. Shawky told TechCrunch the deal came to fruition after investors and company management witnessed an “unprecedented growth” driven by the pandemic “in addition to the new initiatives launched by the regulators, which encouraged them to increase their investments to meet our growing demand.
As previously reported, fintech is on the rise in Egypt with startups like Moneyfellows, NowPay, Raseedi, Flick providing loan, payment, wealth management and personal finance services, etc..
The Egyptian fintech ecosystem also received a major boost when historic fintech Fawry first became a publicly traded unicorn.. Since its launch in 2007, Fawry has been the country’s largest online payment platform and offers a variety of services ranging from mobile wallets to banking services.. Will Fawry’s long-standing presence poses a challenge to Paymob’s quest to become a mainstream fintech too? Shawky doesn’t think so.
“Paymob’s main competitor is cash. With only a small percentage of the economy operating in digital forms, we believe the opportunity to really turning cash into digital has not yet been be unlocked,” he said.
That said, the increase follows the launch of two funds – Algebra Ventures and Sawari Ventures in what can be described as an exciting week for startups and VCs nationwide.