Egypt's Paymob secures $15m to grow digital payments offer

Funding round led by UAE's Global Ventures will fund move into Saudi Arabia and other regional markets

Cairo-based digital payments start-up Paymob secured $15 million in new funding to expand its operations across the region as the coronavirus pandemic spurs a surge in cashless transactions.

The early-stage funding round was led by existing investors including Global Ventures, the UAE-based venture capital firm, according to a statement from the company on Thursday. Other backers include Dutch tech investment fund A15 and development bank FMO. It follows on from a $3.5m raise in July last year.

“Paymob empowers underserved SMEs (small and medium enterprises) with improved and more accessible digital payments offerings as part of the Central Bank of Egypt’s efforts and initiatives towards nationwide digital financial inclusion,” Paymob said. “The company will accelerate its expansion in Saudi Arabia and other markets across the region, in 2021.”

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

The company said its monthly revenue grew over five times in 2020 and that its infrastructure processed more than 85 per cent of transactions made through mobile wallets in its home market. It is used by more than 35,000 Egyptian and global merchants, such as Swvl, LG, Samsonite, Aeropostale, Befit, Breadfast, Gourmet, and the American University of Cairo. It also serves businesses in Kenya, Pakistan and Palestine.

“This latest capital raise will accelerate our progress to reducing the digital payments bottleneck,” Paymob’s chief executive and co-founder, Islam Shawky, said. “All our existing investors have increased their holdings.”

Global Ventures, run by general partners Noor Sweid and Basil Moftah, has investments in a number of companies including Arrow Labs, Kitopi, Mumzworld, and Tabby, among others, while Netherlands-based A15 has investments in 17 companies operating in 20 markets.

Paymob's market opportunity is "huge", Mr Moftah said.

"Egypt’s transformation to a cashless society is being enabled by the unique products Paymob has built. We look forward to continue supporting their expansion.”

The company has "shown great returns with very limited resources", said A15's chairman Karim Beshara.

"Witnessing the impact of facilitating financial services to millions of end-consumers and tens of thousands of merchants coupled with hypergrowth has been a very fulfilling experience for A15.”

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS