UAE tech start-up Zbooni raises $5m to fund expansion

The company will use the funds to expand its team across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan

Zbooni’s chief executive and co-founder Ramy Assaf. Courtesy Zbooni
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Zbooni, a technology start-up in the UAE that enables small and medium-sized enterprises to process payments and grow their online presence, raised $5 million in a Series A funding round to fuel its expansion across the region.

The fundraising, which was led by an undisclosed London-based fund, will help the start-up to expand its team across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The latest investment will be channelled to develop better products for its clients using new technology.

“Zbooni is on a mission to help provide access to digital commerce tools, ultimately supporting our merchants to start, run and grow their business,” the company’s chief executive and co-founder Ramy Assaf said.

Founded in 2017, Zbooni started as a chat commerce venture enabling payments through WhatsApp. Currently, it provides services to a variety of businesses, with tools including invoicing technology, payment enablement, digital store creation and customer management support.

It supports thousands of merchants and has allowed them to serve more than 150,000 end-customers thus far. Zbooni did not disclose its total number of its customers but said it witnessed a 600 per cent surge in its client base last year.

“We are just scratching the surface of what we are able to help them (Zbooni’s customers) do … we believe there remain millions of SMEs still left severely underserved across our geographies,” Mr Assaf said.

Zbooni previously raised $1.1m in venture capital in 2019.

The start-up, which was formed at a six-month Facebook-sponsored accelerator programme, is backed by regional and international organisations, including Chalhoub Group, Middle East Venture Partners and B&Y Venture Capital.

It connects merchants with customers by providing an easy way to complete a sale. Businesses just need to download the app, set up an account, list the products they wish to sell, then share the link with customers through messaging platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Instagram direct messages.