Egyptian fintech Paymob lands country a record $18.5m Series A
Paymob, a Cairo-based digital payments start-up, has raised one of the largest ever fintech Series A funding rounds in Egyptian history at $18.5 million.
Whilst $15 million is made up of new capital from existing investors – led by Dubai-based Global Ventures – the remaining $3.5 million was raised back in July 2020.
The Series A followed a $350,000 seed raise in 2019. Fellow Paymob backers include technology investment fund A15, and the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, FMO.
The start-up intends to put the fresh capital towards boosting its merchant network, product suite and geographic expansion.
Paymob consolidates local payment methods through a single application programme interface (API).
Currently, it’s live in Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, and Palestine, as well as Egypt, with further expansion plans for Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
In 2020, Paymob claims its monthly revenue grew by more than five times. Some 35,000 Egyptian and global merchants use Paymob.
Paymob’s journey since 2016
When Paymob first started out, it focused on issuance, offering mobile wallets which emulated the success of Vodafone’s mobile money service M-Pesa.
It was a pure technology play, and the start-up white labelled its platform to Egypt’s banks.
Paymob’s three co-founders – Islam Shawky, Alain El-Hajj and Mostafa El Menessy – told FinTech Futures in September 2020 that they believed there was a bigger opportunity to be had on the acceptance side.
“Without acceptance, our first proposition – issuing – couldn’t grow,” El-Hajj said. “In emerging markets like Egypt people need to use these wallets somewhere, otherwise they’ll just take the cash out somewhere and spend that.”
Now, Paymob claims to process more than 85% of digital wallet transactions in Egypt.
Egyptian fintech landscape
In 2020, the largest funding rounds for Egyptian start-ups weren’t in fintech, but in healthcare and transport.
Online booking system Vezeeta raised more than $40 million. Whilst bus vehicle hiring firm Swvl – one of Paymob’s customers – landed more than $20 million.
But Egypt did land its first fintech unicorn, Fawry, last August, a year after its initial public offering (IPO). The e-payments platform is currently valued at more than $1.5 billion.
Alongside its first unicorn, Egypt also landed a host of local fintech-focused funds. This included Disrputech, a $25 million fund led by Fawry’s co-founder. As well as Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) $55 million fintech fund. And EGF Hermes’ EFG-EV.