The Saudi Buy-Now-Pay-Later platform Tamara has recently announced the closing of the largest Series A funding round in MENA of $110 million; which was led by Checkout.com. The investment will help Tamara expedite its expansion across the GCC by the end of 2021, followed by the greater region thereafter.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Abdulmajeed Alsukhan and his partners Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain, Tamara was the first BNPL firm to be enrolled in the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)’s Sandbox programme. The firm closed a round of $6 million in seed funding in January 2021, which was also considered the largest seed round in Saudi Arabia; just 5 months after its official launch in September 2020.
The startup has quickly established a prominent position within the market, having successfully secured some of the most popular brands in the country such as SACO, Whites, Nejree and Nice One. The company also expanded its services to UAE with prominent partners like Namshi and Floward. Tamara has been able to launch its mobile consumer app along with its in-store service with multiple local partners. The $110 million cash injection (debt & equity) will be used by the company to scale its team, open new countries in the GCC, and fund the distribution of its BNPL product.
“Tamara was born to make a change. The region and the world need payment solutions that are transparent and customer-oriented,” comments Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Tamara’s Co-founder & CEO. “At Tamara, we offer our customers an alternative to credit cards and Cash on Delivery (COD), which enhances their shopping experience. Our solution also increases our merchant partners’ efficiency as well as their customer satisfaction. This transaction is only the beginning of our journey and a great sign that we are on the right track. We are proud to have the trust of such an investor and we will continue expanding our products to transform the payments industry in the region.”
With an overarching aim of boosting the payments ecosystem within the region, Sebastian Reis, Executive Vice President at Checkout.com added “As the partner of choice for the region’s leading eCommerce merchants, Checkout.com is always on the lookout for ways to enhance the ecosystem. Tamara has rapidly proven itself to be a natural leader in the BNPL space. Our investment in Tamara will help the team realise their vision and expand rapidly, driving greater conversions for retailers and offer more flexibility for consumers.”
Visa estimates that the eCommerce sector in the MENA region will be valued at $49 billion by as soon as 2022. Tamara is well-positioned to tap the rapidly growing Buy Now Pay Later segment in MENA. Its Shariah-compliant offering is utilised by merchants to increase sales revenue, whilst serving as a credible alternative to cash on delivery (COD). The solution is accessible via direct API integration or plugins and offers consumers new ways to pay online – either splitting balances over three payments or paying 30 days later.