Dubai’s Mamo secures $8m to grow digital payments offer

FinTech company plans to hire more staff as it expands into Saudi Arabia

Dubai FinTech company Mamo secured $8 million in new funding to boost its digital payment services and expand its operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as the coronavirus pandemic spurs a surge in cashless transactions.

The early stage funding round was led by Global Ventures, the UAE venture capital firm, Mamo said on Monday. Other backers include New York venture capital firm 4DX Ventures, Saudi-based AlRajhi Partners, Boston's Olive Tree Capital and investors from Silicon Valley.

“We believe that accepting and making payments should be much simpler than it is today, for everyone,” said Mamo co-founder Mohammad El Saadi.

He said the company will support the transformation of the UAE and Mena countries into digital economies.

Mamo’s platform allows users to send and receive payments through their smartphone instantly without any charges. Small businesses and freelancers can also use the platform to receive payments from customers.

The start-up was founded by former Google employees Asim Janjua, Imad Gharazeddine and Mr El Saadi.

It currently has 12 employees from 10 different countries with professional backgrounds ranging from McKinsey to Careem.

Amit Jhawar, the former general manager of Paypal-owned Venmo, is an adviser to the company.

Mamo plans to use the new funding to hire more staff to expand across the region.

“Money is a medium of social exchange and we are building the fabric to connect every member of this society together – from the well-banked to the unbanked, from small business owners to freelancers and beyond,” said Mr El Saadi.

He said the company is preparing to begin operations in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy.

Demand for digital payments and other FinTech services has increased as more people use online banking services to transfer money and pay for e-commerce transactions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

About $135m was invested in Mena FinTechs last year – the highest amount since 2017, according to Magnitt.

Last month, Cairo-based digital payments start-up Paymob secured $15m to expand its operations across the region.

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