FinTech Pyypl raises $11m in early-stage funding to expand in GCC and Africa

ADGM-licensed start-up offers digital payment solutions for one billion smartphone users in MEA who are financially underserved

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UAE-based FinTech Pyypl raised $11 million in an early-stage funding round it will use to continue its growth in its core GCC markets and expand further in Africa.

Pyypl, which is licensed by the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, offers digital payment solutions for the one billion smartphone users in the Middle East and Africa who are financially underserved.

A diverse group of international family offices and high-net-worth individuals from Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East participated in the company’s latest funding round, Pyypl said in a statement on Thursday, without disclosing details of investors.

“Hundreds of millions of people, while having a mobile phone and internet connection, are either completely unbanked, or severely underserved in their daily financial services. The new capital will be deployed to scale our operations in the GCC and Africa – particularly Kenya and Mozambique,” Antti Arponen, founder and chief executive of Pyypl, said.

Pyypl’s latest funding round follows investment from UAE-based venture capital firm Global Ventures, the company said.

The region’s FinTech sector continues to gain traction as the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted more consumers to adopt digital payments, presenting an opportunity for start-ups to provide services to cater to growing demand. Consumers have been quick to adapt FinTech services such as digital payments, remittances, insurance and lending.

In the Middle East, one out of every four investment deals last year was in FinTech, which accounted for roughly a third of all the funding raised – $2.1 billion through 220 deals – according to a report by consultancy firm RedSeer.

With a high adoption rate of smartphones, the Middle East and Africa region is ripe for FinTech sector growth, Pyypl said, adding that a majority of people are still without access to essential financial services.

With connections to numerous global financial institutions facilitating cross-border money transfers, Pyypl started with on-demand liquidity services in the Philippines.

Quote
Hundreds of millions of people, while having a mobile phone and internet connection, are either completely unbanked, or severely underserved in their daily financial services
Antti Arponen, founder and chief executive of Pyypl

Last October, the company deployed a blockchain on-demand liquidity solution for its customer cross-border transfers, in partnership with US blockchain technology company Ripple.

Pyypl plans to expand the availability of essential financial services, including remittance products, to more markets in the Middle East and Africa, the company said.

The Middle East contains two of the world’s three largest remittance corridors, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia handling a combined $78bn in payments in 2020, according to the World Bank.

Updated: February 10, 2022, 9:04 AM
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