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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Paymob raises USD 18.5 mn series A round

Payment gateway Paymob completed its series A round with USD 18.5 mn raised, the company said in a statement (pdf). Paymob raised USD 15 mn from existing investors in the second tranche of its series A led by UAE-based Global Ventures, A15, and the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO). Paymob had raised a USD 3.5 mn first tranche in August of last year. The company, which saw its monthly topline grow 5x in 2020 fueled by the surge in cashless transactions, is calling the move the largest series A funding in Egypt’s history.

This is probably the largest Series A raised by an Egyptian startup and one of the larger rounds raised by a North African fintech player.

Paymob has applied for a license to operate in KSA and is in talks with regulators ahead of an expansion there, company CEO Islam Shawky told Bloomberg. The company will use the funding to accelerate its Saudi Arabia expansion, and grow the domestic merchant network to meet increasing demand, as well as enhance its existing products, with the aim of “reducing digital payment bottlenecks,” Shawky adds. Paymob currently operates in Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan and Palestine.

IN OTHER STARTUP NEWS-

Meanwhile, 34 Egyptian startups raised USD 22 mn in 1Q2021, making Egypt the third largest recipient of VC funding in MENA, after the UAE and KSA, according to a report out today from Wamda. Startups here raised USD 5 mn in March alone, up 6% m-o-m, largely thanks to Flat6Labs Cairo’s cohort of 18 startups.

KUDOS- Wamda gives a special mention to Sawari Ventures and Algebra Ventures who both launched new funds this year. The media outlet expects even more to come from Egypt in terms of startup and investment activity.

The MENA region raised a total of USD 396 mn through 125 transactions in 1Q2021, with the UAE leading the pack. 38 UAE startups raised USD 256 mn, while startups in KSA companies saw USD 76 mn raised through 28 transactions.

What were MENA VCs looking for in March? Most March transactions were made in the fintech and e-commerce sectors, while agritech and logistics raised the most venture capital. Ten investments were made in fintech startups, with e-commerce landing seven.

But they didn’t like healthcare and education: Only two edtech startups raised a total of USD 5 mn, while six healthtech companies raised USD 420k in March across MENA.

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