UAE FinTech Now Money raises $7m in new funding round

The investment will help the start-up expand its footprint in the GCC

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 18 JUNE 2017. Ian Dillion, Co-Founder, of Now Money an app based start up that usese mobile technology to improve the lives of low income migrant workers in the UAE displays the app on his smart phone. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Alice Haine. Section: Business.

Now Money, a financial services platform for low-income migrant workers, raised $7 million in a funding round led by venture investor Anthemis Exponential Ventures.

Anthemis was joined by a consortium of investors including Knuru Capital, Wamda, Commercial Bank of Dubai, DIFC FinTech Fund, Accion Venture Lab, Greenhouse Capital and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, among others. Now Money said in a statement on Monday.

The FinTech start-up also received funding from Expo 2020 and Visa, it added.

“This funding is a significant milestone for Now Money,” Ian Dillon, co-founder of the start-up, said.

“The investment has brought us the financial support needed to scale our expansion plans across the GCC, as well as strategic value and partnerships from each of our investors.”

The investment has brought us the financial support needed to scale our expansion plans across the GCC

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the rise in digital banking and online payments, with consumers more willing to use the services of FinTech companies.

Regional FinTech companies, which focus on lowering fees, reducing transfer times and making finance accessible to all, are set to attract $2.5 billion in investment by 2022, according to a study by Mena Research Partners.

The cash injection will initially be used to expand Now Money in Saudi Arabia, beginning with strategic new hires and local infrastructure in Riyadh, the company said. The funding will also be used to develop the FinTech’s service offering and growth in the UAE.

Founded in 2016, Now Money provides payroll services to Gulf-based companies and app-based accounts with physical debit cards and remittance options for low-income workers.

Katharine Budd, co-founder of Now Money, said engagement with the app doubled last year as customers switched online for services such as remittances and transactions in the wake of the Covid-19-induced movement restrictions.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 31 JAN 2017. Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd, founders of NOW Money, a startup based in the UAE, that provides a safe, immediate and cost effective remittance solution, delivered via a smartphone app, to people who are excluded from the traditional banking system. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: Gillian Duncan / Section: BZ LIFE) ID 49883 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20170131_BZLIFE_TRADE_005.JPG

“One of the most impactful actions a company can take is to provide fair and sustainable access to finance, and Now Money does exactly that,” Vica Manos, partner at Anthemis Group, said.

The Dubai International Financial Centre invested in the start-up in June last year through its $100m FinTech Fund.