valU gets Walid Hassouna’s full attention
valU has Walid Hassouna’s full attention: Walid Hassouna is leaving his position as CEO of EFG Hermes’ Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) platform to dedicate himself full-time to his role as CEO of its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform valU, according to a press release (pdf). “The decision to appoint Hassouna as CEO of valU follows the remarkable success the brand has achieved in a short span of five years, becoming one of the fastest growing BNPL players in MENA,” our friends at EFG Hermes said. The move “comes at a vital stage in the growth life cycle of valU where it will certainly benefit from increased independence in its pursuit of growing its footprint and capitalizing on the numerous opportunities in Egypt and beyond,” Group CEO Karim Awad said.
Hassouna’s shift to focus entirely on valU comes amid rising investor interest: Amazon purchased in May USD 10 mn worth of EFG Hermes’ London-listed global depositary receipts (GDRs) with an option to convert the investment into an equity stake in valU within five years. The Amazon transaction was followed in June by Saudi Arabia’s Alhokair family acquiring a 4.99% stake in the company through a USD 12.4 mn capital increase, valuing the company at USD 247.4 mn.