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Thursday, 13 October 2022

Telda bags USD 20 mn round + FlapKap lands its second round this year

It’s shaping up to be a big week for VC inflows to local startups: Yesterday it was pharma companies, today it’s local fintech firms snagging funding rounds from local and international investors. It’s encouraging news for Planet Startup as global economic woes see many local firms tightening their belts.

Digital banking app Telda raised USD 20 mn in a seed round led by long-time investor Global Founders Capital (GFC). Existing investor Silicon Valley-based VC firm Sequoia Capital also participated, as did newcomer Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly known as Square), Bloomberg reports.

Where the money’s going: The money will help the company step into new markets and expand its product offering.

This is a big raise — especially considering current fundraising conditions: VC funding both here and abroad has slowed to a trickle in recent months as tighter global monetary policy sees investors pull out of riskier assets and markets. Down rounds — when a company sells shares at a lower price than its previous funding round — are now the norm, while the implosion of local startup Capiter has some in the startup scene predicting that more young companies could soon fold.

What they said: “In Egypt dealing with money is still a complicated matter; making it easy and straightforward will have a large impact not just on the economy but also the society as a whole,” said co-founder Youssef Sholqamy.

About Telda: The company was founded last year by Swvl co-founder Ahmed Sabbah (LinkedIn) and former Uber senior engineer Sholqamy (LinkedIn). Shortly after its launch, the company secured USD 5 mn in a pre-seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from GFC and Class 5 Global. Telda started issuing its prepaid cards in partnership with Banque du Caire over the summer.

The news also got coverage from TechCrunch and Waya.


MEA fintech startup platform FlapKap raised USD 3.6 mn in a seed round, according to a press release (pdf). The round saw participation from follow-on investor A15 as well as Bolt by QED, Nclude, and Outliers. This is the company’s second round this year, after it raised USD 1.2 mn in a March round led by A15.

Where the money is going: FlapKap will sign on more e-commerce players in the region to its revenue-based financing plans. The company hopes to strengthen its presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, according to the press release.

What FlapKap does: The company offers financing to e-commerce businesses that have been operational for at least six months and have limited access to traditional financing through banks or VCs. Merchants can get upfront financing to scale their inventory and digital marketing, which they pay back as a percentage of revenues. FlapKap also offers AI-based insights and financial data analytics.

Founders: CEO Ahmad Coucha (LinkedIn), co-founder of MENA digital agency Kijami, co-founded the company with Khaled Nassef (LinkedIn). Sherif Bichara (LinkedIn) and Adel Hodroj (LinkedIn) also serve on the founding team.

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