Welcome to Fintech Founders Monthly for January 2022! 

In the first month of 2022 we focused on Founder stories in the accelerating Fintech hub of Pakistan. The region has managed to attract record levels of VC funding – more in 2021 than all prior years cumulatively – and is seeing more fintech and internet users…

So what’s driving this growth? Why are we seeing an influx of new businesses? Find the main highlights of our latest Fintech Founders episode hosted by Ronit & Gaurav and the latest funding-related news from the MEASA region. Let’s get started!

Quotable Quotes from our FinTech Founders

“If at a click of a button you can order a car, if at a click of a button you can order food, why can’t you on a click of a button order your salary today when you’ve worked already.”

Omair Ansari, CEO of Abhi (YC S21)

“Pakistan’s growth is booming, and my concern is the market might not be able to get talent fast enough to fill this growth.”

Monis Rahman, Co-Founder & CEO, Dukan.pk, Chairman & Co-Founder, Finja, CEO, Rozee.pk

Salary at a Click of Button?

The untold story of Abhi (YC S21) CEO, Omair Ansari

In a nation like Pakistan, where a large majority of people are living paycheck to paycheck, the need for credit is evident, but access to it hasn’t always been easy. With customer-centric options lacking, Omair Ansari, our guest on episode seven of the Fintech Founders Series, dived into how he built a platform that allows employees to have access to their salary in real-time.

The insightful discussion along with our hosts, Ronit Ghose and Gaurav Dhar underlined how though a massively unbanked nation presents huge opportunities, “coming in with a fancy product, which you think is going to help the masses, doesn’t do anything”. To create the right product in a primarily cash-driven economy you need to understand what is a manual pain point that exists in the country that you can digitalise and then consumer demand will accelerate. Having a collaborative relationship with banks will also create new avenues of growth.

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

Creating A Webstore In Few Clicks – Possible?

The untold story of Co-Founder & CEO, Dukan.pk, Chairman & Co-Founder, Finja, CEO, Rozee.pk, Monis Rahman

Monis Rahman, our guest on episode eight of the Fintech Founders Series, has been building VC funded tech companies in Pakistan since 2008. Monis created the template for new economy companies in the country and his latest venture is a platform to revolutionise e-commerce for small businesses

The session with Monis underlined how Pakistan is in a time where it’s never been easier to raise capital. Pakistan is no longer viewed by investors as a risk factor but as an opportunity. It’s not just financial flows – there have been tens of millions of new online users in the past few years who have access to smartphones and the internet economy. And Pakistani talent is now flying home, leaving jobs overseas, to help build technology-driven services for this changing country! 

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 must-read news in the FinTech MEASA World. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel, and UAE have witnessed various seed funding rounds which highlights the promising expansion plans for the region and Fintech hubs.  

Zindigi Launch: Pakistan’s First Customizable Digital Financial Experience, Powered by JS

Zindigi – Pakistan’s first customizable digital experience powered by JS – was introduced with launch events in 13 cities across Pakistan. The company offers to their users to access all financial services from funds transfer to international remittances along with all kinds of local and international payments.

‘UBL has joined forces with Visa to drive fintech enablement in Pakistan’

United Bank Limited (UBL), Pakistan’s fastest-growing digital bank, has joined forces with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, to drive fintech enablement in Pakistan by becoming the first “Visa ReadyBIN Sponsor” in the region. 

Taro secures $3.5mln funding

Fintech startup Taro Technologies has secured $3.5 million in pre-seed funding through a combination of strategic partnerships and angel investors to launch a Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) venture in Pakistan.

SCB, Haball enter into partnership

SCBPL has entered in a partnership with Haball, Pakistan’s first B2B Fintech with the aim to digitise supply chain collections for its clients and bring efficiencies in clients’ business processes.

Entrepreneurship Arm of Saudi Aramco to Launch Fintech Accelerator Program

Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has joined forces with Fintech Saudi as a strategic partner to launch a 12-week Fintech Accelerator to support the growth and development of promising Fintech companies in Saudi Arabia. 

Personetics Secures US$85 Million Investment From Thoma Bravo

Personetics, an AI-based engagement platform to understand individuals’ financial behaviors, announced it has raised $85 million from software investment firm Thoma Bravo. The aim of partnership with Thoma Bravo is to leverage the latter’s operational expertise in software and financial technology.

Bahrain Crypto Exchange Rain Raises USD 110 Million in Series B

Bahrain-based crypto exchange Rain Financial, founded in 2017, has raised $110 million in Series B funding. The company aims to utilize this investment to expand across other countries and regions, and enhance its technology.

Saudi’s Social Trading Platform Dawul Raises $5 Million in Seed Round

Riyad-based social trading platform Dawul announced last week it has raised $5 million in a seed round, which is considered one of the largest seed funding rounds for a fintech company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

GoDaddy Joins Forces to Offer Payment Solutions in MENA

GoDaddy is working in partnership with MyFatoorah, a local UAE payments provider, specialising in SWIFT payment solutions across the GCC Region, in the MENA region, to provide new payment solutions to GoDaddy’s ecommerce solution. 

Central Bank of Bahrain Completes Test With Blockchain Based JP Morgan Coin System

The Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) has announced the successful completion of a test with Onyx by J.P. Morgan’s JPM Coin System. This is a first of its kind test of the JPM Coin System in the region. 

Our first episode Paxful with Ray Youssef | Fintech Founders
Our second episode Piggyvest with Odunayo Eweniyi | Fintech Founders
Our third episode Dopay with Frans van Eersel | Fintech Founders
Our forth episode Simpl with Nitya Sharma | Fintech Founders
Our fifth episode Setu with Sahil Kini | Fintech Founders
Our sixth episode Union54 with Perseus Mlambo | Fintech Founders
Our seventh episode Abhi (YC S21) with Omair Ansari | Fintech Founders
Our eighth episode Dukan.pk with Monis Rahman | Fintech Founders

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