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Sunday, 5 March 2023

Crypto platform Rain throws in with MoneyHash on payments. Plus: STV is fundraising and Raya’s accelerator inks pact with GIZ

The latest from Planet Finance in our corner of the world shows that crypto is still alive, that Saudi’s VC ambitions haven’t flagged — and that Raya Holding is pushing deeper into the accelerator space.


Bahrain-based crypto platform Rain is partnering with fintech startup MoneyHash to offer its customers more payment methods, according to a company statement (pdf). MoneyHash’s API will allow Rain to add payment service providers and payment methods across the Middle East and Africa, the statement reads. The partnership will also help Rain improve its transaction success rate, reduce fraud, lower processing fees, and streamline its operations.

About Rain: Rain became the first fully licensed digital currency exchange in the region in 2019 when it obtained its license from the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company, which counts Egyptian Yehia Badawy among its four co-founders, raised USD 110 mn in series B finance in 2022, which it said it would use to expand overseas.

About MoneyHash: Founded by Egyptians Nader Abdelrazik and Mustafa Eid and American Anisha Sekar in 2020, MoneyHash’s payment aggregator platform allows companies to offer payment and fintech services at checkout as well as collect data and track analytics through a single dashboard. The company closed a USD 3 mn pre-seed round last year.


STV is raising for its second fund: Saudi venture capital firm STV is raising for its second Middle East-based tech fund, COO Luca Barbie said in an interview with Asharq Business. Barbie did not disclose the size of the second fund or say when it expects to reach first close.

STV’s first fund will deploy USD 300 mn in existing portfolio firms: The VC’s first fund plans during the next year to make follow-on investments in five or six of the most promising 28 companies in its existing portfolio “to cover the last mile before [we] exit,” Barbie said. The investments will come from the additional USD 300 mn STV injected into its first fund last October, bringing the fund’s total assets to USD 800 mn.

That could mean more money for local firms: Egyptian companies in STV’s portfolio include healthcare and pharma firm Vezeeta and furniture marketplace Homzmart.

A second fund has been in the works since 2021: STV was in talks with potential investors — including regional sovereign funds and international pension funds and endowments — to raise USD 1 bn for a second fund back in October 2021, Bloomberg reported at the time, citing anonymous sources close to the company.


Raya Holding’s accelerator, FutureTECH, inked an agreement with German development agency GIZ that will see them launch “new acceleration cycles, hackathons, startup bridges, and other ecosystem-building programs” through the GIZ develoPPP program, according to a statement (pdf).

What they said: “The partnership with GIZ manifests a significant expansion for Raya

FutureTECH that was previously only focused on start-ups providing advanced solutions that improve customer experience,” Raya Holding CEO Ahmed Khalil said in the statement. “Today, Raya FutureTECH is expanding to support start-ups operating in more industries,” he said, without providing further details.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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