Fintech Founders Monthly | December 2021

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Welcome to the Fintech Founder monthly newsletter! 

Time to update yourself on the latest developments in the Middle East Africa South Asia (MEASA) region during the last month of the year 2021. In this newsletter, you can find the main highlights of our latest Fintech Founders episode hosted by Ronit & Gaurav and the latest funding-related news from MEASA region  

Quotable Quotes from our FinTech Founders

“The biggest problem was not that farmers did not have enough information, it was that they did not have access to good quality financial services. So they did not know more about money, or Fintech. As a result, they could not participate in the global economy.”

Perseus Mlambo, CEO OF UNION54

“I feel a deep sense of responsibility to build something which has an impact on people who need it the most.”

SAHIL KINI, CO-FOUNDER OF SETU

Future-proofing India’s fintech architecture

The untold story of Setu’s Co-Founder, Sahil Kini

sahil kini
A snapshot from the session with Sahil Kini, Gaurav Dhar, and Ronit Ghose

Sahil Kini was our guest on episode five of the Fintech Founders Series and with his help we dived into how to find a solution for the need of financial products in India.

The session with Sahil underlined 3 main points:

  • Learning from both failure and success to be an entrepreneur
  • The specialty of the Fintech industry and understanding the shifting customer needs in India and the rest of the world
  • Main opportunities and challenges of API infrastructure

You can watch the sessions below on Youtube, or listen it on Apple and Spotify Podcasts.


Africa’s first card-issuing API

The untold story of Union54’s CEO, Perseus Mlambo.

A snapshot from the session with Perseus Mlambo, Gaurav Dhar, and Ronit Ghose

Perseus Mlambo was our guest on episode six of the Fintech Founders Series and with his help we learned more about the highly promising African Fintech landscape.

The session with Perseus underlined 3 main points:

  • The importance of having an understanding of customer needs
  • Stages of creating a tailored API service which focuses on African customers
  • Opportunities and challenges of fundraising for your startup

You can watch the sessions below on Youtube, or listen it on Apple and Spotify Podcasts.


What happened in Fintech last month in the MEASA region

In case you missed it, here are some of the movers and shakers that made the news in the FinTech MEASA World. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Pakistan, Israel, Kuwait and India have witnessed a lot of seed funding rounds which underlines the promising expansion plans for Fintech hubs in the region.

Arab Financial Services to Gain Capital Boost of US$98 Million

Arab Financial Services, the region’s leading digital payment solutions provider and Fintech enabler, aims to raise $98 million to boost revenue growth and strategic expansion in the region. 

Israeli Fintech Unicorn Tipalti Valued at US$8.3b After US$270m Fundraise

Tipalti was founded in 2020, which provides an end-to-end cloud payables automation service for payment management workflows. US-Israeli payables solution provider Tipalti has raised $270 million in a Series F funding round, taking its valuation to $8.3 billion.

Arab Bank Wraps Up First Edition of Egypt Fintech Bootcamp

Arab Bank, headquartered in Amman Jordan was founded in 1930. On 21-25th of November 2021, Arab Bank Egypt organized a one-week bootcamp to boost Egyptian Fintech startups to present their Fintech solutions to Arab Bank’s corporate accelerator, the AB Accelerator.


DIFC FinTech Hive Graduates Largest Ever Cohort Since Launching Five Years Ago

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive witnessed its largest cohort graduate from its accelerator since launching the free zone in 2017. The focus of the program was including Fintech, regtech and Islamic Fintech etc. Currently, DIFC Fintech has more than 450 Fintech and innovation companies, representing over 60% of all the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Fintech organisations.


Pakistan’s PostEx Closes $8.6 Million Seed for Its Ecommerce Fintech Solution

PostEx was founded in 2020 and aims to serve as an e-commerce Fintech company in Pakistan. The company has raised a $8.6 million seed funding round, one of the largest early-stage funding deals in the Pakistani Fintech ecosystem.


Saudi Aramco Invests in $5 Million Pre-Series A by SME Financier Lamaa

Lamaa was founded in early 2021 in Saudi Arabia which is providing a service as a SME-focused Fintech startup. The company, Lamaa has raised around $5 million in a pre-Series A funding round. The funding will be used to develop the platform of Lamaa which targets to shorten the cash conversion cycle for SMEs.


Coinbase Acquires Israeli Cryptography Company Unbound Security

During the first week of December, Coinbase acquired Israel-based cryptographic security technology company Unbound Security. With this acquisition, Coinbase aims to establish an advanced tech research facility, boost its product and security roadmap.


India’s Cashfree Becomes Majority Holder in Telr With $15 Million Investment

India-based payments and API banking solutions company Cashfree has picked up a majority stake in UAE and Saudi Arabia-based payment service provider (PSP) Telr for $15 million. The main aim of this strategic investment is that Cashfree can easily launch its offerings across the MENA region through the payment infrastructure of Telr.



National Bank of Kuwait Rolls Out Kuwait’s First Digital Bank Weyay

The National Bank of Kuwait has launched Kuwait’s first fully digital bank for youngsters called Weyay. After the end of the beta testing phase, customers in Kuwait can start to onboard the app via invite-basis. In Kuwait, 80% of young customers are looking for financial tools to set personal saving goals and track their money. 


US-Israeli Supply Chain Fintech 8fig Closes US$50m Series A

US-Israeli supply chain Fintech company 8fig has raised a $50 million Series A funding round. The startup aims to use the funding for improving the scale of lending solutions for e-commerce businesses. 

We hope you enjoyed the last Fintech founders episode with us and are excited for the next to come in new year 2022!

Our first episode The untold story of Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful | Fintech Founders
Our second episode The untold story of Piggyvest with Odunayo Eweniyi | Fintech Founders
Our third episode The untold story of Dopay with Frans van Eersel | Fintech Founders
Our forth episode The untold story of Setu with Sahil Kini | Fintech Founders


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