Egyptian FinTech Thndr raises $20m in Mena expansion push

Mobile investment platform's Series A funding round was co-led by Dubai's Beco Capital, New York-based Tiger Global and The Netherlands' Prosus Ventures

Ahmad Hammouda (left) and Seif Amr, co-founders of Thndr. Photo: Thndr
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Egyptian digital investment platform Thndr raised $20 million in an early stage funding round that it will use to boost its product development and expand across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The latest funding round for the Cairo-based start-up was co-led by Dubai's Beco Capital, New York-based Tiger Global Management and The Netherlands' Prosus Ventures. Base Capital, firstminute and existing investors Endure Capital, 4DX Ventures, Raba Partnerships and Jimco also participated in the funding, the company said.

The company, which secured $125,000 in seed funding, is a multi-language app that aims to educate investors to make their own financial decisions and take a stake in their own economies.

It has a strategy of enabling clients to invest in stocks, bonds and funds in the region in a user-friendly manner through its mobile-based and low-commission digital stock brokerage.

“We are building an investment supermarket for Mena consumers to access relevant investment products. With a focus on financial literacy, we equip investors with the knowledge to make self-directed investment decisions," Ahmad Hammouda, co-founder and chief executive of Thndr, said.

The global WealthTech solutions market is growing as more people become financially responsible, and is projected to rise to $137.44 million by 2028 from $54.62m in 2021, according to Research and Markets.

In the third quarter of 2021, total capital investment in global WealthTech reached a record $21 billion, industry insight provider FinTech Global said. The three-month period was also the largest in terms of the number of funding deals recorded (160) and total funding raised ($7.6bn).

Greater savings and time at home, coupled with with fewer opportunities to spend money, are also driving consumers to improve their financial position with the help of technology, Euromonitor International said in its 2022 trends report.

Thndr's assets under custody surged 29 times last year, with monthly traded values up by similar levels. The start-up also accounted for 36 per cent of all new registrations in the local Egyptian exchanges in 2021.

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Compared to other developed regions, the opportunity in Mena for equity brokerage is more complex for an international player to capture, given the regional fragmentation, cultural nuances and regulatory framework
Sandeep Bakshi, head of European investments at Prosus Ventures

The company said the market fundamentals of Mena are compelling, citing the region’s population of 370 million amassing $500bn in annual savings. Of this, 62 per cent have smartphones and half the population is aged between 14 and 45, it added.

Mobile investment platforms are creating investors out of those who previously had limited equity market exposure, according to Thndr, with 87 per cent of the user base as first-time investors and 40 per cent hailing from rural areas.

“Compared to other developed regions, the opportunity in Mena for equity brokerage is more complex for an international player to capture, given the regional fragmentation, cultural nuances and regulatory framework," Sandeep Bakshi, head of European investments at Prosus Ventures, said.

Thndr was launched in late 2020 by Mr Hammouda, a former general manager of ride-hailing platform Uber in Egypt, and Seif Amr.

Updated: February 09, 2022, 10:35 AM