The FinTech Times highlights some funding and investments that happened in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in October. Highlights included in countries in MEA such as Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
NowPay from Egypt
Cairo-based NowPay, a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets, announced that they raised $ 2.1 million in seed investment. The round was led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital along with investors from the United States, UAE, China, and Egypt. The cluster of investors include: BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech and Ebtikar. Prominent Angel investors such as Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi, and Rolaco also participated in the round.
“During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, we are proud to have well-known and eminent investors back us, signaling trust in our business concept and our team. Saving, spending, budgeting and borrowing, are our four pillars of financial wellness. Financial stress plays a major role as a top distraction for employees. NowPay bridges that gap and provides several benefits for employers that choose to proactively address this area of employee wellness. Particularly in the recent months NowPay helped empower both the employees and employers alike. We want to improve every financial aspect for employees and make financial inclusion a reality,” said Mostafa Ashour, Cofounder and CEO of NowPay who previously led the innovation teams at Microsoft Research.
Egypt-based Flick Raises $1 million
Egyptian fintech startup Flick raised $1 million from an angel investor in a Pre-Seed funding round. Flick digitises the cross-border end-to-end money transfer through its “seamless” app.
The startup aims to solve the common pain points in the traditional methods of international money transfer. Customers can transfer money using the Flick mobile app from anywhere and everywhere without any commuting needed for both the sender and the recipient.
Africa’s largest mezzanine fund managers in Morocco
Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, has invested $28million in Cliniques Internationales du Maroc Group (CIM). The funding will enable CIM to part-finance the extension of an existing clinic in Marrakech, as well as open new clinics in Tangier and Casablanca.
Saudi Arabia’s Retailo raises over $2 million
Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Retailo raised $2.3 million in a pre-seed round led by Shorooq Partners, which is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE); 500 Durian from Southeast Asia and 92 Ventures also participated in the round alongside others.
Cyberpion Raises $8.25 Million in Seed Funding Round
Israel founded Cyberpion announced it has emerged from stealth after closing an $8.25 million seed funding round co-led by Team8 Capital and Hyperwise Ventures. The company’s platform enables security teams to identify and neutralise the rising threats stemming from vulnerabilities within online assets throughout an enterprise’s far-reaching, connected ecosystem. Cyberpion will use the new capital to boost its sales and marketing efforts, while expanding and accelerating product development of its Ecosystem Security™ platform. “Following rapid growth in both research and development as well as winning new customers that include Fortune 500 companies, we are excited to emerge from stealth and champion the rising ecosystem security sector,” stated Cyberpion founder and CEO Dr. Nethanel Gelernter.
AccessFintech secures $20 million in Series B financing
Tel Aviv-headquartered AccessFintech, a leading fintech company evolving the financial industry operating model through data and workflow collaboration, announced the successful completion of its Series B round of $20 million, led by Dawn Capital, Europe’s largest venture capital fund dedicated to B2B software. Existing investors J.P. Morgan, Citi and Goldman Sachs contributed to the round, and Deutsche Bank has participated for the first time. It brings the total capital raised to date to $37 million since 2018.
The CEO of AccessFintech Roy Saadon stated, “Over the past two years our mission to evolve the financial industry operating model has gained significant traction and it is testament to the energy and skill of our team, the support of our clients and our wider network that we have reached this important milestone. We are thrilled to partner with a firm of the calibre of Dawn Capital who have an exceptional track record in working with fast growing companies in the fintech sector and who fully support our strategy. We are also excited to have worked with J.P. Morgan, Citi, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank in this round – they are important partners for us in our vision of collaboration to maximise efficiencies across the market.”
Tipalti raises $150 million
Another successful funding round from Israel included global payables automation solutions company Tipalti announcing it has raised $150 million at a valuation of more than $2 billion. The funding round was led by Durable Capital Partners; Greenoaks Capital and current investor 01 Advisors also participated.
Sweetheart Kitchen in Dubai
Over in Dubai, multi-brand Sweetheart Kitchen, a delivery-only ghost kitchen, has raised €15 million in Series C funding from strategic investors. The new funds will be used to help Sweetheart Kitchen launch five new brands including Skinny Bowls, Open Sesame and Naughty Vegan, in addition to opening 19 new units across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait early next year and planned expansion into Saudi Arabia later. This round follows a previous €21 million funding used to launch 30 brands.
Fundall from Nigeria raises $150,000 in pre-seed funding
Fundall is a digital banking platform from Nigeria. According to their website, “Fundall has raised pre-seed funding of $150,000 from a group of investors led by Black Knight Capital, which will propel our launch, acquisition of a Microfinance Bank, as part of steps to further strengthen its operational framework and license to surpass both regulations and customer service expectations.”
New Venture Capital Firm +VC Launched
Plus Venture Capital (+VC) announces the launch of its operations and its debut fund focused on investing in early-stage tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and its diaspora.
Founded by well-known veterans of the startup ecosystem, the firm’s leadership, led by ex-Google executive Sharif El-Badawi and investment veteran Hasan Haider, is taking an innovative approach to supporting early-stage companies – leveraging more than 35 years of combined investing and operating experience. Having completed over 200 transactions together, the firm’s managing partners have a wealth of knowledge and proven track records of helping portfolio companies achieve operational milestones and building global companies. The company is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Stripe buys Nigeria’s Paystack in a reported $200 million deal
To end this monthly summary of fintech funding and investment announcements in October in the Middle East and Africa region, Paystack from Nigeria has been acquired by Stripe from the US. The deal will see both Paystack and Strip continuing to operate independently. The acquisition is part of Stripe’s international expansion plans on the back of a $600 million funding round in April; reports suggest the deal was worth around $200 million.