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Egyptian payments technology company, Paymob, has raised $50 million in Series B funding to finance its product growth and geographic expansion across the Middle East and Africa region.
The funding round was led by Kora Capital, PayPal ventures, and Clay Point, with additional participation from investors Helios Digital ventures, British International Investment and Nclude.
Existing investors A15, FMO, and Global Ventures, which took part in the previous $18.5 million Series A funding round, also joined the new investor consortium.
“The Paymob team is leveraging key structural changes taking place across Egypt and the Middle East, as these economies evolve from being primarily cash-led to a digital heavy mode of transacting,” said Nitin Saigal, founder of Kora Management.
Paymob’s new cash resource will enable the company to build upon its existing payment technology products. It already offers several payment methods in the country, including traditional bank cards, mobile wallets, QR payments, bank cards’ instalments, buy now pay later, and consumer finance payment options.
Its notable partnerships include its collaboration with ride-hailing app Uber to expand payment options within the app. It also partnered with Mastercard to offer mobile payment options to Egyptian users.
The payment technology company’s successful fundraising round comes less than a month after the company announced its first operational partnership in Pakistan. The payment tech provider is collaborating with Pakistani bank Alfalah to enable over 100,000 merchants to accept digital payments.
CBE’s fintech hub goal takes shape
Paymob’s successful funding round and growth align with the Central bank of Egypt (CBE)’s goal to establish the nation as a fintech hub in the Middle East and Africa.
In 2019, the CBE launched an EGP1 billion innovation fund, Financial Technology Unit, to support Egypt’s fintech start-ups, among other initiatives to reach its objective.
“Central Bank of Egypt initiatives that are continuously being introduced in the market to support fintech companies were key to Paymob’s growth,” said Islam Shawky, co-founder, and CEO of Paymob.
“The Central Bank has created a regulatory framework to help fintech flourish and participate in making Egypt’s digital financial inclusion ambitions a reality.”
According to Egypt Fintech Landscape report by Alliance for Financial Inclusion, investments in the fintech industry in the country reached $159 million in 2021, a massive boost from $900,000 in 2017.
Global payment industry players make their moves
Following a similar period of rapid growth, the paytech industry elsewhere in the world is now entering a period of consolidation.
Last month, UK mobile-based payments software provider MYPINPAD merged with Singaporean peer SmartPesa to operate under the MYPINPAD brand. The combined group is aiming to enter the North American market while strengthening its presence in APAC, LATAM and the EMEA regions.
That same month, the Singaporean payments platform 2C2P also expanded its global coverage following strategic investment from Chinese digital payment platform Alipay’s owner Ant Group. The partnership gave 2C2P’s pool of merchants access to Alipay Plus’s global network.
Besides geographic expansion, the payment industry players have also been flexing their capabilities with new partnerships and launches.
Lithuanian fintech company Bitlocus is preparing to offer its clients the ability to pay with cryptocurrencies with the launch of its crypto payment card. The fintech firm collaborated with banking-as-a-service platform, Striga, to provide the service.
In the UK, open banking platform TrueLayer also extended its offering to include a novel variable recurring payment API for both sweeping and non-sweeping payments. The new payment option removes the need for re-authentication when repeating money transfers between the user’s own two accounts or other businesses.
The A-Z of financial technology solutions