While Nigeria and Kenya have been at the forefront of African fintech innovation, activities are beginning to take shape in Egypt beautiful. There is currently a burgeoning fintech startup ecosystem in Egypt. Today fintech startup Paymob announced that it has completed a Series A round valued at $ 18.5 million.
In July 2020, Paymob raised $ 3.5 million as the first tranche of the Series A investment. A additionally $ 15 million was raised by the same investors in the first tranche, led by Dubai-based VC firm Global Ventures. Other investors are the Egyptian investment fund A15 and the 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 equity rounds in North Africa.
“We are excited to lead this significant fintech fundraiser in the region. Paymob has a perfect combination of high quality technology and product customers increasingly can not do without and an excellent management team. Your market opportunity is also huge; The transformation of Egypt into a cashless society is made possible by the unique products that Paymob has developed, ”said Basil Moftah, General Partner at Global Ventures, about the investment.
Paymob was founded in 2015 by Alain El Hajj, Islam Shawky and Mostafa El Menessy. The platform helps online and offline merchants to accept payments from their customers through various products and solutions. It provides a payment gateway that merchants can integrate into their websites or mobile applications using its APIs. For offline merchants, Paymob offers a POS solution with which they can receive card payments in-store.
The company also has a payment link feature that merchants use to share links with their customers to receive payments be received with mobile wallets. According to the company, 85% of mobile wallet transactions were made in Egypt is processed by its infrastructure. It also claims to be the largest payment intermediary in the country.
In addition to Egypt, Paymob is also represented in Kenya, Pakistan and Palestine. CEO Shawky says the company has plans to expand into more sub-Saharan African countries. howeverIt will do so after focusing on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) where it hopes to gain a large share of the market.
Regional expansion (with an upcoming entry into Saudi Arabia) is one of Paymob’s goals for this year after that increase. According to a statement released by the company, it will also use the investments to expand its dealer network, meet growing demand and improve product offerings.
The pandemic offered fintechs around the world one of the best ways to get massive growth. Paymob claims to have increased its monthly sales five times over the past year. The company also recorded more than $ 5 billion in total payments from over 35,000 local and international merchants including Swvl, LG, Breadfast and Tradeline.
Even this growth enabled the fintech company to raise the second investment tranche after graduation just $ 3.5 million initially. According to CEO Shawky, the deal came about after the company’s investors and management testified an “unprecedented growth” driven by the pandemic.
As mentioned earlier, fintech is on the rise in Egypt. Startups like Moneyfellows, NowPay, Raseedi, and Flick provide lending, payments, wealth, and personal finance management services, etc..
The Egyptian fintech ecosystem also received a big boost when incumbent fintech company Fawry first became a publicly traded unicorn. Since launching in 2007, Fawry has been the largest online payment platform in the country, offering a variety of services ranging from mobile wallets to banking services. Does Fawry’s long-standing presence pose a challenge to Paymob’s endeavors to become a dominant fintech as well?? Shawky doesn’t think so.
“Paymob’s main competitor is cash. Since only a small percentage of the economy works in digital form, we believe the opportunity of really Converting cash to digital has not yet happened can be unlocked,” he said.
That is, the increase follows the launch of two funds – Algebra Ventures and Sawri Ventures – in an exciting week for startups and VCs in the country.